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Calgary businesses look at vaccine passports in lieu of a provincial system

Last Updated Aug 23, 2021 at 1:51 pm MDT

CALGARY – Some Calgary businesses say they want to establish their own proof of vaccination requirements as Premier Jason Kenney has shut the idea for a provincial system down several times.

Dickens Calgary is one of the businesses which wants to establish a proof of vaccination system.


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In a statement on social media, the pub says it won’t allow people entry into the business unless they can provide evidence they have been vaccinated, adding refunds will be available to anyone who purchased tickets for an event but cannot attend because they haven’t been vaccinated.

The Palomino Smokehouse says beginning Sept. 3, you will need proof of vaccination for all ticketed events. Otherwise, customers will have to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of the event.

Cultivate Counselling is another Calgary-based business looking at proof of vaccination requirements for clients.


“We understand that close proximity in small spaces is one of the best ways to transmit, and that’s essentially how a lot of counselling happens,” said Jessy Roos, Executive Director of Cultivate Counselling.

Roos says they waited until vaccinations for adults were widely available in the province before they made this decision.

Online services are available for those who cannot come in or for those who aren’t vaccinated, however, Roos says it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone seeking help.

“Attending online has become untenable and in some cases, it’s actually a barrier to people attending at all. The access to in-person counselling is certainly important especially to people who live with others, especially for people who communicate non-verbally.”


Some of Cultivates clients have had to take their online sessions into their cars as it was their only private space and in some cases, counsellors can better assess a client’s needs when they see them in person.

“Everybody knows that a large amount of communication is non-verbal. When you are in a room with a person you can read their facial expressions, their body movements, some people express their anxiety or their discomfort through certain hand motions or fidgeting.”

But University of Calgary Bioethicist Kerry Bowman says there’s more to the debate around vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations.

RELATED VIDEO: Bioethicist warns of consent issues around employer vaccine mandates

“The political and emotional thrust on this over the last few weeks is so massive, the question becomes if we’re going to do this, how do we do it well, making sure it’s evidence-based, making sure it’s fair and proportional to the system,” he said.

“In the weeks and months ahead, there will be people all over this country that will be receiving vaccines for COVID-19 that really is not an expression of free and informed consent at all,” Bowman added.

“The reason they’ll be taking these vaccines is they’re trying to secure their income, and their livelihoods are being threatened. There’s an element of, essentially, coercion there.”


He explained the thinking behind mandatory vaccines is that the benefit to society is so massive that it outweighs those personal choices.

Meantime, British Columbia is looking at its own proof of vaccination system.

The full details aren’t known yet but are expected to be announced at 1 p.m. (PT)/2 p.m. (MT).

-with files from CityNews Vancouver