Canadian News Jul 22, 2021 1:28 PM EST

Ontario businesses face backlash after requiring customers to be vaccinated

Ontario businesses that have required vaccinations from customers are facing backlash over those policies, after Premier Doug Ford ruled out using vaccine passports as they'd create a "split society."

Ontario businesses face backlash after requiring customers to be vaccinated
Elie Cantin-Nantel Ottawa, ON
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Ontario businesses that have required vaccinations from customers are facing backlash over those policies, after Premier Doug Ford ruled out using vaccine passports as they'd create a "split society."

Ottawa's Escapade Festival has announced that it will require attendees to be vaccinated, making it one of the first major events to do so.

Ali Shafaee, the festival's director, told CTV News "We're not trying to make this debate on whether someone should get vaccinated or not. We're just trying to plan a safe event for 2021 and we feel that this is the best way of doing it."

People's Pint Brewing Company in Toronto also faced backlash on the issue, after they announced on social media  that all their staff had been voluntarily vaccinated. They were also listed on a website which tells customers the vaccine status of employees, a site that was taken down after backlash online.

However, backlash is also coming from the other side. Brooke Rew, an unvaccinated server in Drayton, Ontario, was shortchanged on a tip due to her vaccination status. "The fact that he’s basing my tip off of the vaccination, not on the service provided, is really upsetting to me," said Brooke to CTV News.

Recent controversies over vaccine status has led to the Ontario Science Table, which was behind most of Ontario's lockdown policies, to call for the implementation of a  provincial vaccine passport.

"Nobody wants to start to restrict again more. The only way to deal with this is to make a distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated unfortunately," said the table's scientific director Dr. Peter Juni.

While being controversial, employment lawyer Paul Champ says vaccine mandates in workplaces are "fair game." Adding, "There's obviously a lot of competing rights and interests here, but an employer's obligation or their interest here is to maintain a safe and healthy workplace."

Canadians also seem to be in favour of vaccine passport, even if it means that some unvaccinated Canadians will be discriminated against. A poll from the Angus Reid Institute found that almost 60 percent of Canadians favour vaccine passports and half of Canadians are unlikely to spend time around those who remain unvaccinated.

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