From the Hill

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Olalla, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake. Albas is a member of the Conservative caucus first elected to Parliament in 2011.

This week the prime minister created a bit of a stir in Ottawa when he announced his latest sound bite; that Canadians can enjoy a “one-dose summer.”

The comment appears to be an admission that at best, those Canadians who want to be fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID vaccine, will only be able to receive one dose by summer.

The expectation is that every Canadian can be in this “one-dose” situation by the end of June.

The required second dose would occur at some point in the fall.

What does a “one-dose” summer look like compared to a “two-dose” summer as we now witnessing in the United States?

Unfortunately, the prime minister has not provided a clear definition of what a “one- dose summer” really means.

In fairness much of health policy is provincial, however here in the Okanagan, we receive a considerable amount of business as a result from our proximity to the Canada/ U.S. border.

Increasingly I am receiving questions from many in the tourism and hospitality sectors who are receiving booking requests from fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and they are unclear how far down the road they must continue to decline these requests, which in turn amounts to a significant loss of revenue.

I am also increasingly hearing from frustrated Canadians who would like more certainty on what will be the plan for the border re-opening so they can visit family and attend to other commitments.

On these points, Prime Minister Trudeau continues to say Canada will “align policy on ‘vaccine passports’” with other countries.

Unfortunately, this is not a clear answer on what his expectations will be for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens desiring to do business here in Canada.

While this is an important question for many small businesses who depend on U.S. visitors here in the summer months, it may or may not be a concern to other citizens.

Dan Albas is member of Parliament for Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.