Ontario companies are preparing for potential conflicts that may arise when the province’s new proof of vaccination system goes into effect next week.
Next Wednesday, September 22, clients will need to show their complete vaccination status before they are allowed to dine inside, go to the interior space of the gym and other higher risk activities. After the recent surge in protests from those opposed to vaccine mandates or vaccines altogether, some are predicting rough waters ahead.
Toronto’s Little Italy is jam-packed with restaurants, and Vivoli’s manager doesn’t expect all diners to be drawn in by requests to see their vaccination status.
New details released on Ontario COVID-19 vaccine certificates, fines for non-compliance start at $ 750
“We are sure to get a lot of support,” said Mike Chad.
For now, Chad said the restaurant will be able to rely on the abundance of patio space. Cookouts do not require full vaccination status per province rules. But with colder weather on the horizon, Chad doesn’t expect the free ride to last much longer.
“Who is going to come if someone starts yelling at a server or manager for not being able to get in?” Chad said.
Down the street, Julian Morana said he expects some goodwill from clients when it comes to reviewing vaccination papers.
“I think it is going to delay the service, so I hope that all the vaccinated who go out to dinner are patient,” he said. “Because we’re going to be double vax checking, so that’s going to take some time.”
Morana said that if this is what is required to prevent her business from closing in another closure, she fully agrees. But he doesn’t think the government should force businesses and restaurants to enforce its laws.
It will be up to the ordinance officers to do most of that groundwork. But the health minister said Tuesday that some companies may need to call emergency services.
“If any of them feel threatened, we want them to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible,” Christine Elliott said. But she, along with other city leaders, are downplaying the potential for mass discontent over vaccination policies.
Ontario Government Will Require COVID-19 Vaccine Certificates for Many Indoor Public Settings
NDP leader Andrea Horwath accused Elliott of being out of touch with reality for making that claim. Especially after the vaccination mandates protests occurred not only in the front lawn of Queen’s Park earlier in the week, but also just down the street, in front of the hospitals.
“What the government didn’t do is bother to think about what kind of resources will be needed to help ensure this passport system works,” Horwath said.
Since then, the government has clarified that the police should not be called unless it is an emergency. Adding business owners are already used to dealing with difficult clients and are well equipped to resolve disputes.
The Ontario Police Chiefs Association echoes that call, adding that it will be up to Labor Department inspectors and ordinance officers to handle most citations.
“Police officers are not going to ask people for their certification status,” said OACP spokesman Joe Couto. “That is not our job.”
“There may be cases where it is related,” added Couto. “If, for example, there are disputes that escalate and people feel insecure.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business continues to question how the government expects businesses to handle deployment. Its president and CEO, Dan Kelly, said he has been inundated with calls from members who have already stretched throughout the pandemic.
“These are the same businesses that were closed, in some cases for up to 400 days,” Kelly said.
Now he said those same companies, many of which have few financial resources, must devote resources to monitoring clients’ vaccines. Without, he added, a penny of new support from the provincial government.
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