Two restaurants in downtown Ottawa in hot water over vaccination requirements

Statutory officers also gave three verbal warnings to other companies that did not follow vaccine passport regulations, a city official said.

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In the two weeks since the province’s vaccination lawsuit went into effect, Ottawa lawmakers have summoned a downtown restaurant to court and fined another restaurant $ 1,130 for allegedly violating recent COVID-19 restrictions.

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Happy Fish on Elgin Street was summoned to appear in court on January 13, 2022 for allegedly failing to comply with provincial orders, including not asking for proof of vaccination and not ensuring both physical distance, and that patrons were masked when they did not sit, said Roger Chapman, the city’s director of bylaws and regulatory services, this week. Happy Fish also violated city noise statutes, Chapman alleged.

Dosa & Curries on Gloucester Street are being fined for failing to comply with provincial orders, including not asking for proof of vaccination, not physically distancing tables and not registering protective information for contact tracking, Chapman said.

Statutory officers also gave three verbal warnings to other companies that did not follow vaccination passport regulations, Chapman said.

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Ontario’s vaccination proof program went into effect on September 22, requiring individuals 12 years and older to show identification and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination as they enter the restaurant’s dining rooms, bars, gyms, conference centers, and sporting events. Receipts can be downloaded from the province’s website. Digitally identifiable codes must be available by October 22nd.

Dreammind Group, which owns Happy Fish and several other restaurants, bars and stores in Ottawa, has not yet received notice of the call, says the group’s marketing director, Ilon Tyan.

The allegations against Happy Fish contradict a post on September 22 that appeared on the Instagram pages of Dreamminds venues. The post, signed by Dreammind President Abbis Mahmoud, said Dreammind sites would require proof of immunization and photo ID in accordance with the provincial mandate.

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Restaurant Dosa & Curries on Gloucester Street in downtown Ottawa.
Restaurant Dosa & Curries on Gloucester Street in downtown Ottawa. Photo by Julie Oliver /Postmedia

Vijay Krishna Rangarajan, owner of Dosa & Curries, said he would not contest the fine. The small restaurant, which seats 15 under COVID-19 restrictions, was busy on Sept. 25, Saturday night, when lawmakers visited, Krishna said. Some customers were uncooperative and argumentative and refused to follow pandemic security measures, he said.

Dosa & Curries has since strengthened its determination, Krishna said. “We are very strict. Even if they get into a quarrel, they do not get in, ”he said.

“I find that most customers are not vaccinated. I say to them, ‘I’m sorry,’ “Krishna said, adding that he denied four out of 10 customers at Wednesday’s lunch service.

Chapman said city law enforcement had received more than 120 calls in two weeks about vaccine passports, and most were from business owners seeking clarifications. If a business encounters a customer who refuses to show evidence of vaccination and refuses to leave the business, the company should call the Ottawa Police Non-Emergency Line at 613-236-1222, Chapman said.

Bylaw services also received two calls regarding vaccine passports that were believed to be forged, but investigations found the allegations unfounded, Chapman said.

phum@postmedia.com

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