With the rollout of vaccine passports trickling out across Canada, Ontario is no exception. Despite Premier of Ontario Doug Ford announcing that vaccine passports would not apply to youth sports, many sports leagues have gone above and beyond the provincial requirement and put out their own policy or directive.
On August 25, 2021, the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) released their “Game Plan 2.0,” which outlines their return to play framework and of course includes their vaccination policy. The full document is a 45-page monstrosity; the vaccination policy starts on page 13 and is to be indiscriminately applied.
In order to meet this directive, “Affected Persons” must provide proof of receiving the vaccine by October 17, so that they can be considered fully vaccinated by that November 1 deadline. The GTHL states that they will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code and provide reasonable accommodation up to the point of “undue hardship” of any affected person.
Under Accommodation on page 32, it notes that the league will take certain things into consideration which include the reason for not being vaccinated, and documentation to substantiate a medical or protected ground reason for not being vaccinated. But where accommodation is not possible without undue hardship, the Affected Person will not be permitted to be involved in any Sanctioned Activity for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk.
Oddly, the policy says to follow the link on page 33 to begin the accommodation process, but the link is listed as currently being developed.
In this interview, I reach out to various league contacts for clarification on this egregious policy, and interview a concerned hockey dad, Joe Anidjar. Not only is he concerned about the documented risk of myocarditis in adolescents and young adults who receive the Pfizer injection, especially males, but also the continued use of coercion to gain compliance with this experimental drug.
Joe took matters into his own hands and formed a private Facebook group called Youth Sports Freedom Fighters. He is now collaborating with Game On Canada to develop his own league, should it come down to his child not being allowed to engage in organized youth sports.
To support his cause and substantiate that there are thousands of parents with similar concerns, he points to two petitions; one specific to the GTHL mandate and another specific to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA).