Governments around the world are considering, or are currently in the process of implementing, vaccine passports or certificates1 to allow individuals to prove vaccination against COVID-19 and gain access to certain services. Should municipal or provincial/territorial governments in Canada decide to implement vaccine certificates to allow access to public services, the following principles are offered to help guide public sector organizations to proactively ensure fairness in their application. As a basic premise, and in keeping with the principles of administrative fairness, there should be no oppressive or unreasonable barriers to accessing services offered by provincial/territorial and municipal governments based on a person’s vaccination status; government and other public services must be accessible to all.
These administrative fairness principles have been developed by the Canadian Council of Parliamentary Ombudsman (CCPO). The CCPO is comprised of provincial and territorial Ombudsman, whose mandate is to ensure people are treated fairly in the delivery of public services. By following these fairness principles, those who deliver public services are more likely to achieve fair administration in the use of vaccine certification should it be introduced in Canada.