The Long Way

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November 2, 2021  

Vaccine Passports in Ontario (Special Episode!)

November 2, 2021

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Feature guests: Lisa Richmond, Vice-President of Research – Cardus & Brian Dijkema, Vice-President of External Affairs - Cardus

After giving a “hard no” to COVID vaccine passports in Ontario over the summer of 2021, Premier Doug Ford did an about-face and imposed a passport system on the province in September. Was that a good and effective change? Is the policy switch justified? Think tank Cardus examined the issue, analyzed the available facts, and concluded the premier had neither made an effective case for vaccine passports nor explained why he suddenly changed his mind on the issue. What’s more, we concluded that while vaccinations against COVID are necessary and safe, imposing passports to access public places wasn’t likely to help the situation. Cardus even wrote an open letter to the premier challenging him to end a vaccine passport system that is “unjustified, unnecessary, and harmful overreach with serious short- and long-term consequences” and offering a series of better options to protect public health. Thankfully, the premier has conditionally committed to ending the passports in January 2022, which is a small victory.

In the meantime, our open letter to Premier Ford has generated a lot of discussion. Some loved it, some hated it, and some wondered why Cardus would even step into such a controversy. So, we’d like to address some of those questions. Rather than our typical short episodes with long perspectives on building the common good, we’ve put together a special episode that diverges from that format. This is a long episode (though it’s still about building the common good!) and features two of the brightest minds at Cardus in simple conversation: Lisa Richmond, Vice-President of Research, and Brian Dijkema, Vice-President of External Affairs. Together, they’ll offer you a look under the hood of Cardus, clarify how we approach research and decide what kind of work we’ll undertake, and explain our thinking on vaccine passports and other related issues.

Listen in and enjoy. We hope you’ll learn something. And we hope you’ll tell us what you think. You can reach Lisa Richmond at and Brian Dijkema at Of course, don’t be shy about liking this episode, sharing it, and leaving a comment here too. And do subscribe to The Long Way so that you won’t miss other future special episodes and seasons.

If you’re interested in our other COVID-related work, here are some links you may find helpful:

The Long Way is a podcast of think tank Cardus.

Thanks for listening!

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