Quebec's vaccine passport has officially been in full force since September 1. While countless businesses have embraced the new system as a means of public safety, other Montreal restaurants have opted to close their dining rooms rather than enforce proof of vaccination.
A couple of restaurant owners have also said they would welcome anyone, regardless of vaccine status, choosing to ignore the government's mandate and deal with the repercussions instead.
This Vietnamese café in Saint-Henri posted that it would be closing its dining room the day the vaccine passport came into effect.
Le Jerk Spot Montreal
In a video posted to Le Jerk Spot's Instagram page, owner Rex Patel says the team has made an "executive decision" not to check vaccine passports "because we don't believe in that." In order to still be legal, he said they will not allow customers to dine in the restaurant.
Caffè Roma, an Italian café in Villeray, posted that it would open its doors to vaccinated and non-vaccinated people while respecting health measures.
This Italian restaurant in Montreal-Nord said it's closing its dining room so as to not support "discrimination with a vaccine passport."
Le Petit Vibe
Côte-des-Neiges Hawaiian-Filipino restaurant Le Petit Vibe announced it would only be offering take-out and delivery due to the vaccine passport. Co-owner Willson Luu told MTL Blog that "everyone has their right to choose whether they wanted to get vaccinated" and that the government should hire its own "enforcers" instead of asking the restaurant industry to do the job.
Amelias Pizza on rue Milton said it would shut its dining room due to a combination of staff shortages and the "desire to respect the privacy" of its customers. It's still open for takeout and delivery.
Tony Campanelli, who owns Adamo's Pizzeria in Saint-Henri as well as Bar de Courcelle, posted an Instagram story saying, "We will continue to welcome all our clients [...] and vigorously contest all fines. It's not law until it's debated democratically." Adamo's Instagram account shared the same story.
Campanelli told MTL Blog that, as a take-out pizza counter, the restaurant was never required to scan its clients' QR codes. He also said the team agrees with most of the government's COVID-19 measures, but not the vaccine passport.
"We are not conspiracy theorists or anti-vaxxers. For the record, we are all fully vaccinated and work behind a glass barrier," he said. "What we stand against is being mandated to police our fellow citizens and clients. [...] There are more people in a metro car stuck together than there will ever be in any of our places, but the STM doesn't ask for passports."
It's important to note that Bar de Courcelle has posted that proof of vaccination is mandatory there.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
A recent post on the agency's official Twitter account states that "the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria."
(1/4) Health Canada has authorized brand name changes for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)1631805234.0
Health Canada asserted that "these are only name changes. There are no changes to the vaccines themselves."
Canada has four approved vaccines: Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), SpikeVax (Moderna), Vaxzervia (AstraZeneca), and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
"All COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada are proven safe, effective and of high quality," Health Canada wrote on Twitter.
Quebec's vaccine passport is in full force on Wednesday, September 15, as a two-week grace period comes to an end. The grace period was designed to give business owners and customers an opportunity to adapt, according to Health Minister Christian Dubé.
Fines for non-use of the passport did not apply in the first two weeks of September.
"I want to be very clear," the health minister said on August 24. "There are penalties and sanctions for inappropriate uses [and] there are sanctions in the criminal code for people who want to alter a document that's used by public health."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Véronique Comtois, a spokesperson for the SPVM, told MTL Blog that there were no fines handed out during the protest and no arrests made as of Sunday at 12 p.m. But, two incidents that occurred at Saturday's protest remain "under investigation" — one act of mischief and another involving a fire in a chemical toilet.
🇨🇦 Canada - Montréal [September 11, 2021]
Protest in Montréal today, against the vaccine passports and mandates.… https://t.co/pyRYmfeWaB
MTL Blog has confirmed with Elections Canada that no, you won't need to show your vaccine passport to vote in Montreal.
"Voters are not required to have their vaccine passport to vote," the agency's media relations confirmed. Polling stations are also not on the Government of Quebec's list of places that require the passport.
Why wait for election day? 🗳️
If you want to vote earlier, you can vote by mail or at any Elections Canada office… https://t.co/LHmUgjLKFW