Business group advocates for COVID-19 vaccine passport in Sask.

As COVID-19 cases rise across Saskatchewan, some business groups and small business owners are voicing support for vaccination passports.

Lynn Armstrong is a Regina business owner who maintains measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She now does business primarily by appointment and still records customer names for contact tracing.

“I don’t feel that we have come out of it yet. I don’t think we have enough of an economic recovery plan,” said Armstrong, who owns Zoe Shoes.

The group that represents small business in Canada is calling on government to have a plan to prevent another lockdown. The Canadian Federation of Business said it believes vaccine passports should be a part of it.

“The majority or thereabouts of Saskatchewan small business owners support using mandatory vaccinations to participate in those larger or more at risk events, like large public gatherings or international travel,” said Jonathan Alward, prairie director with Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) would include mandatory vaccines for health care workers.

“You still need to be respectful and have discussions around that, but if there’s not medical reasons, it’s not a lot that would trump the safety aspect when one works with the vulnerable population,” said Dr. Eben Strydom, president of the SMA.

Armstrong said she has been giving COVID-19 prevention a lot of thought.

“We can’t do another lockdown, and I feel I have done my part in maintaining my business as a safe place and I think other small business owners have done that, too. I don’t think that we should be punished for other decisions that are related to huge gatherings.”

The Saskatchewan government’s position remains unchanged. It encourages health care workers to get vaccinated but isn’t going to force the issue and it rules out a provincial vaccine passport.