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N.B. Liberals push for immediate expansion of vaccine passports

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New Brunswick’s official opposition is pushing for Premier Blaine Higgs to immediately follow through on a pledge to make life “increasingly uncomfortable” for those choosing not to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have to move. The premier has to stop sitting on his hands for this one,” said Liberal MLA Rob McKee on Wednesday. “I think we should see that immediately. There’s no need to delay this any longer.”

Higgs set the stage for expanding vaccine passports when he announced New Brunswick would be entering Level 3 of its COVID-19 Winter Plan.

“Over this two week period we are going to be re-evaluating what other restrictions we need to put on to encourage people to be part of protecting the greater good,” said Higgs on Jan. 13.

There was no new information offered Wednesday by the premier’s office or the Department of Health on what, if any restrictions, may be added.

McKee said the Liberals are in favour of requiring proof of vaccination at NB Liquor and Cannabis NB locations, following the lead of Quebec.

Earlier this month, Interim Liberal Leader Roger Melanson suggested Service New Brunswick be considered as a location for proof of vaccination.  On Wednesday, McKee said residents, no matter their vaccination status, must be able to access essential services and wasn’t sure if including Service New Brunswick in any mandate was appropriate.

“I guess it’s yet to be seen and that’s why we feel that NB Liquor and Cannabis NB is really the next logical step,” said McKee.

Previously, Higgs said Quebec’s decision to enforce proof of vaccination at provincial liquor and cannabis outlets had been effective.

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