A restaurateur from Nanaimo, BC, says he is concerned that his business and two others will be vandalized for following the province’s vaccine passport program.
Gaetan Brousseau’s Melange restaurant had its front windows broken between Thursday night and Friday morning.
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He later learned that two other businesses, Modern Cafe and Nest Restuarant, suffered similar damage the same night.
“Three restaurants the same night, no one else was robbed, you know he’s a suspect,” he said.
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“Two weeks ago I had some anti-vax people a little more in my face than usual that night, telling me that I’m an idiot for following the rules and this and that.”
Brousseau said the vandals did not go into business or take anything.
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The province implemented the BC Vaccine Card program last month, which required proof of immunization to access restaurants, cinemas, live sports and shows.
Opinion polls have shown that vaccine passports enjoy wide support, but have proven unpopular with a small but outspoken minority.
Brousseau said he understands that not everyone agrees with the program and that he personally does not like to ask people for information.
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But he said the regulations are mandatory.
“This is not optional for us,” he said.
“It has to be done. My clients expect me to do that, they come to my restaurant with that expectation and I will do it.”
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Nanaimo RCMP is investigating the vandalism, and spokesperson Const. Gary O’Brien said it was too early to say what the motivation might have been.
“All we have is stones were thrown, no business entered,” he said. “We don’t know why it happened.”
Police are also monitoring the company’s employees and contractors to see if there were any outstanding issues that could be related to the incidents.
Security video captured a possible suspect, whom O’Brien described as a slim Caucasian man in his 20s wearing a light-colored cap, long beige trench coat and white sneakers. Anyone with information should contact Nanaimo RCMP.
Meanwhile, Brousseau said he hoped the incident did not reflect badly on his community or others who might not agree with the vaccine passport, but who have not downplayed themselves to violence.
“It is not a reflection of Nanaimo,” he said. “And also, it’s probably not a reflection of most people not wanting to get vaccinated.”
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