Hamilton’s Harbour Diner: a safe harbour for unvaccinated diners

The owner of Harbour Diner in Hamilton, Ontario feels that her business has suffered enough, and wants to allow all patrons access to dine indoors at her restaurant.

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Thanks to Premier Doug “Flip-Flop” Ford doing yet another classic 180, Ontario’s vaccine passport program took effect on Sept. 22. This means that dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, dance studios and other sports facilities must ask patrons for proof of vaccination prior to admittance. Your papers, please!

But Jenna Graham, owner of the Harbour Diner in Hamilton, Ont., is one of the businesses in Steeltown that is not enforcing proof-of-vaccination. There are many reasons for her taking such a stance. She says a person’s medical information is private. And she doesn’t like the idea of a two-tier/medical apartheid system taking root in Ontario. And also of note, Jenna is legally blind, which presents some difficulty when it comes to actually checking the papers of would-be clients.

Besides, Jenna questions the logic behind such an initiative. After all, both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can commingle in big-box stores and supermarkets — what’s the difference when it comes to the restaurant sector?

Needless to say, Jenna going public with her policy is fraught with potential risk, given that she could be fined up to $1,000 for not being an interrogator as opposed to a hostess. As well, business owners who don’t follow the rules can even face fines of up to $10 million under the laughably-named “Reopening Ontario Act.”

It should be noted that so-called “enforcement teams” in Hamilton are already busily monitoring social media, looking for those businesses and individuals who are not complying with the rules. And really, how Orwellian is that? Indeed, we wonder if bylaw officer Ranjeni RJ Reddy She/Her is part of Hamilton’s spy network? You might recall that Ranjeni RJ Reddy She/Her took a picture via a telephoto lens of yours truly interviewing a demonstrator at Hamilton City Hall a few months ago. Then Ranjeni RJ Reddy She/Her emailed me a $360 ticket that can, incredibly CANNOT be contested in court. But that’s how they roll in Hamilton…

Naturally, we think this ongoing harassment of restaurateurs is wrong and downright disgraceful. We plan to go to bat for these restaurant owners, and if you would like to help this cause, please go to www.WeWontAsk.com and, if you are able to, kindly make a donation.

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