Monday, August 16, 2021

Vaccine passes and protests come to Canada

Thousands in Canada and France Protest Vaccine Passports | Voice of America:

August 14, 2021 - Thousands marched in Montreal and across France on Saturday to protest vaccine passports. Starting next month, in Canada’s Quebec province, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be needed to go to a restaurant, bar, gym or festival. The vaccination rate in Quebec is high: 84% of adults have received one dose, and 70% have received two. And yet protesters, often with their families, marched peacefully Saturday through the streets of Montreal. 

"'It should be the choice of each person whether to be vaccinated. With the passports it is a means of forcing us' to get vaccinated, said Veronique Whalen, a 31-year-old who came with her family and said she doesn't normally attend protests.

"In France, fewer people marched this Saturday, the fifth in a row, in opposition to a COVID-19 health pass that is needed to enter restaurants and travel on long-distance trains. The health pass took effect last week as new infections rose, thanks to the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus. In the past week, France has reported more than 146,000 new cases and 358 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center."
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Thousands gather in Montreal to voice displeasure at Quebec's impending COVID-19 vaccine passport CTV News - Daniel J. Rowe:

August 14, 2021 - "Organizers from Québec Debout say the 'Non a la passe sanitaire!' (No to the health pass) demonstration is to show the discriminatory aspect of the passport.....'The planned implementation of the health pass (proof of vaccination for restaurants, cinemas, sports teams, educational institutions, etc...) is an unprecedented prejudice for the population and is highly discriminatory,' the event page reads. 'We must say no together'....

"Starting at 2 p.m., marchers headed down Rene-Levesque Blvd. to the Place des Festivals, where several speakers addressed the crowd. Co-organizer Jonathan Hamelin said the protests will continue until a real debate on vaccine passports is held. 

"Quebec's opposition parties said the provincial government's refusal to hold a debate in the legislature on its plan to impose a vaccine passport system reflects a larger problem with its use of emergency powers. Premier François Legault responded by saying a debate isn't needed."
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