Albertans can't yet use Canada's vaccine passport system for international travel
Alberta’s current proof of vaccination system does not yet meet the national standards announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, but is expected to before the holiday season.
Canada’s certificate will be a federal document issued by provinces and territories, who hold resident health data.
According to Ottawa, the system will ensure the proof of vaccination issued by each jurisdiction has a “common” look and feel and is easily recognized and validated during international travel.
It’s expected that by November, all provinces and territories’ vaccine passports will meet the national standards so Canadians can travel during the holiday season without issue.
“All provinces and territories have agreed to a national standard that will be an accepted proof of vaccination for destinations around the world,” Trudeau said Thursday.
“It is correct that not every province has yet delivered on that, but I know they are all working very quickly and should have resolved that in the weeks to come, certainly in time for people starting to travel again as we ease off some of those travel restrictions.”
While Alberta has its own system, it does not yet meet the federal standards.
Steve Buick, spokesperson for Alberta’s health minister, told CTV News Edmonton the province is working closely with Ottawa on a new QR code for international travel.
“Provinces will retain the records of their respective residents. Albertans’ data will not be shared with the federal government or with other provincial governments,” Buick said.
He promised Albertans would be able access an internationally recognized QR code by the end of next month, and said they could continue using their existing proof of vaccination.
The systems brought in by Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories are all already compatible.
The standards Canada is following use the SMART Health Card format recognized by the International Standards Organization and tech companies like Apple and Android.
The passports will have verification measures to prevent falsification and can be used with the ArriveCan app when Canadians return from abroad.
The federal government said it is working with border security services and the countries most visited by Canadians to ensure officials there easily recognize, read and validate Canada’s passport.
With files from CTV News.ca’s Rachel Aiello