Featured Image
Ontario Premier Doug Ford Premier of Ontario / Youtube screen grab

TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – Effective September 22, the Canadian province of Ontario will be implementing vaccine passport measures. Currently, almost 80 percent of residents ages twelve and up have taken both jabs, which leaves 20 percent of vaccine-eligible Ontarians banned from a variety of “non-essential” services.

With almost thirteen million people over the age of twelve in the province, millions of Ontarians will be barred from accessing a host of businesses and activities.  

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the implementation of a vaccine segregation policy on September 1.  The provincial government has released a set of guidelines for business that explains how the government is expecting the passports to be implemented and enforced. The document is a summary of legislation laid out under the Reopening of Ontario Act (ROA). 

The document stipulates that applicable businesses are required to comply with the guidelines, and failure to comply with the policy could result in fines as low as $750 and $1000 for individuals and corporations respectively. Maximum penalties can be in the hundreds of thousands, with potential jail time. 

Business and organizations are also responsible to ensure that the information is collected accurately. Patrons will only be allowed full access if they show proof of identity and certification of their vaccination. 

Patrons will be required to provide their medical information to the employees, who in all likelihood have no medical training, or they will be turned away. The businesses that collect the medical information from residents have been instructed by the government that they will “not retain any information provided by a patron.” 

Presently, the verification of medical status will take place by showing the establishment requisite documentation, but the Ontario government stated: “Ontario will develop and implement an enhanced digital vaccine certificate with unique QR (Quick Response) code and accompanying verification application that will allow users to securely and safely verify their vaccination status when scanned.” 

The policy also states that for a limited time period (September 22 – Oct 13), people may provide a negative antigen test result if they are not vaccinated but wish to attend a social gathering/reception associated with a wedding or funeral.  

There are no religious or conscience exemptions to the policy, and only under extremely rare scenarios can someone obtain a medical exemption. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has urged doctors to be highly selective about who physicians supply exemptions to. 

One physician – who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of professional condemnation – told LifeSiteNews that Ontario doctors have effectively been told to deny medical exemptions unless “absolutely necessary.” When asked what that would entail, he explained that in his estimation, they are only allowed to exempt someone from the jab if he or she has a serious and specific allergy to the contents of the shot, or if the first jab caused obvious injury. 

The following is a list of businesses and organizations that will require vaccine passport for entry: 

  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces: includes banquet halls and conference and convention centers (with limited exceptions) 
  • Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and other similar establishments – excludes deliver and takeout 
  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities – excludes outdoor areas (i.e. patios) 
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal fitness training: includes gyms, fitness/sporting, recreational facilities, pools, leagues sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events 
  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments, concert venues, theaters, and cinemas 
  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues 

Workers, contractors, repair workers, volunteers, and others who are not entering as patrons are exempt from the necessity to show proof of vaccination. People may also enter any of the aforementioned establishments without proof of being double-jabbed if they wish to use the washroom or have to walk through an establishment to get outside. They may also enter any establishment to pay for or buy a specific product, as long as they do not stay in the establishment as a patron normally would.

The policy requires everyone over the age of twelve to provide proof of vaccination to access the various services, except in sports and recreational facilities, where patrons between the ages of twelve and eighteen are permitted without vaccination certification. This only applies to those partaking in a sporting event, but not to spectators. 

It is not stated in the policy how businesses are expected to enforce the measures. With the amount of people who may come and go in an establishment at a given time, it will not be practical for employees to diligently enforce the segregation mandate at all times. As this is another policy under the ROA, it is not under the normal jurisdiction of Ontario police forces, which has caused one police spokesman to express that things are unclear at this point. 

Joe Couto, communications director with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said police forces would wait for calls to come in related to the policy before deciding whether to redeploy or adjust resources. 

“The question I’ve been asked is, are police going to be needing new resources or shifting resources to deal with the rollout of certification,” he said. “The short answer to that is, we really don’t know, because the province is still developing not only its policies, but how it will actually practically work.”

When the province of Ontario announced random stops as part of a “stay at home” order in the spring, most police forces in the province clarified that they would not participate in any random stops for reasons pertaining to lockdown measures. One news report stated that police officers rarely got involved in lockdown-related infractions, and very few businesses faced any legal backlash for defying orders in most places.