WARMINGTON: Unvaccinated? No soup for you!

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In Ontario, there are two kinds of food court citizens.

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Going into a shopping mall food court these days for a burger, coffee, chicken balls, sushi, taco, or shawarma is like going through security at the airport or entering a different country.

You need a passport here! And supporting identification!

Not to get into the mall, but also to get into the area to sit down and enjoy some mall cuisine.

It seems everybody is considered equal — until mealtime. The malls have become pandemic Twilight Zones where the vaccinated and unvaccinated can mix everywhere, except for in small, segregated food court areas. There are proof-of-vaccination signs and food court cops enforcing it all.

The province reports 87% of Ontario residents are double vaccinated against COVID. The malls are following a provincial edict to require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination status.

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Even though this has moved forward with no resistance, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms — an organization that advocates for a social conservative approach to constitutional law — announced Monday it “has filed a constitutional challenge against Ontario’s vaccine passport mandate in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.”

Many restaurants have patios that accommodate people who choose not to share their vaccination status.

But many of the malls don’t have outside patios as a backdoor way of feeding everyone with dignity. So it creates a real us-and-them feel.

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In a country that does not tolerate such divisions, it seems unusual that many are deemed unacceptable for service because they haven’t received a vaccine.

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The food court experience now looks like a prison visit complete with a fence and manned guard stations.

The vaccinated or unvaccinated can stand — while masked — in the same fast-food lineup and buy a meal, but the province’s COVID safety protocols prevent them from sitting together in the food court.

For this food fight, there are uniformed guards on duty to make sure everyone complies with the rules.

You couldn’t write a script to depict how strange this is. It’s like the coronavirus understands which people are in line for food and which ones are consuming it.   

As Premier Doug Ford’s government brings in QR codes to make this process more efficient and more traceable, there seems to be little prospect of this madness ending anytime soon. It will have to be sorted out in court.

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“With respect to owners of businesses and organizations, the vaccine passports compel them to enforce unconstitutional laws, as well as laws that would typically be considered to violate human rights legislation. Ontarians should not be forced to discriminate and exclude others from society on the basis of a personal and private medical decision,” said Jorge Pineda, lawyer for Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

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“The Supreme Court of Canada has found that the Charter protects the right to bodily autonomy and informed consent, this is the law, and it is indisputable. The vaccine passport is a brazen attempt to subvert the Charter and to render its protections meaningless.”

Time will tell if the unvaccinated who express their concerns will even be allowed to enter the courtroom.

As of right now, they won’t be able to go to the nearest mall food court during lunch break.

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