A handful of companies in Ottawa say they will not require vaccine passports

Many of the companies that say they will not ask patrons for vaccination status still fall outside the province’s mandate.

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A handful of companies in Ottawa declare their opposition to Ontario’s new vaccination certification policy in social media posts and on Internet lists.

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In the wake of the vaccination certification policy, which went into effect on September 22 and requires customers to show proof of vaccination to gain access to gyms, indoor restaurants, cinemas and concert halls, several online groups have emerged. These groups provide a space where those who disagree with the policy share and promote companies that break the requirements and allow unvaccinated patrons.

Some of the companies being discussed about these groups are in Ottawa. They include a martial arts fitness center, several personal trainers and wellness retreats.

The companies are listed on the ontarioBAD.ca website (companies against discrimination) and in the private Facebook group Ontario Businesses Against Health Pass, which has 140,000 members and whose purpose is to “compile a list of companies that believe that a health pass in Ontario is unconstitutional, ”according to a group description.

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“Your personal health status is irrelevant and so is your personal choice,” the statement added.

Jon Ohlsson, the founder of the ontarioBAD website and owner of a photo studio, said in an email that he had set up the group after his wife was put on unpaid leave because she did not have both vaccine doses.

“I would make a library for people like her who for medical reasons will not get the vaccine,” he said. “I want to give people places they can work or go to who will not ask for personal health information and will not deny them because of a personal health choice.”

Ohlsson insisted he was not an anti-vaccine. “My grandmother will not be vaccinated and I think she should. But again, it is not my choice for her and I would not think of her differently than what she chooses, ”he said. “I have nothing against anyone being vaccinated, such as my family, my mother’s sister and father, and respecting their medical decisions as their own choice.”

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But many of the Ottawa companies on the list, which say they will not ask patrons for their vaccination status, fall outside the province’s mandate and would not be required to ask for such information anyway.

They include meat delivery services, shops, massage therapists, real estate agents, day care centers and salons.

“No passports are required,” states a salon in the Ottawa area of ​​the Novaxpassports.co website, another site set up to bring together companies that will not require proof of vaccination. “One to one salon. Completely disinfected between clients. Common sense and natural immunity everywhere. ”

However, vaccination certificates are not required for entrance to salons. The owner of the salon did not respond to an interview request; three other business owners in the Ottawa area whose businesses appeared on the list also declined to comment.

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Psychic media is not at all listed on the Ontario Government’s list of companies needed to confirm evidence of vaccination from their clients. And yet, the ontarioBAD.ca site shows at least one Ottawa-area psychic medium offering “reiki / intuitive energy” sessions and “spiritual coaching for those stuck in growth or business.”

Businesses can be fined $ 1,000 and penalties of up to $ 10 million for failing to comply with the vaccination certification program.

The City of Ottawa said the Department of Law and Regulatory Services (BLRS) has received 65 requests for vaccine passport service since the regulation went into effect on Sept. 22, but the majority of those requests were from business owners seeking clarification of new rules. They issued a provincial law violation to a restaurant for violating provincial rules and two verbal warnings to companies that did not comply with the requirements for vaccine passports.

“We understand that this remains a difficult time for everyone and urge borrowers to support companies in following the rules, taking into account the difficulties they have faced during the pandemic, and to prevent further blockages,” said Tania McCumber. , acting director of law and regulatory services, it said in a statement.

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