Maskless shoppers react to J & W Foods

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You never know who you’ll bump into at a mask-optional store…

Recently, we dropped by J & W Foods in Toronto to interview co-founder Bill Fehr. Bill made an impassioned speech about how the economic lockdown is ruining lives. Indeed, he spoke of how a former customer took his own life after his businesses folded, leaving behind a grieving young family.

However, Bill has caught the attention of Toronto bylaw officers for — get this! — OBEYING the bylaw! You see, if a customer has a medical exemption from wearing a mask, Bill still allows them to enter, just as he is mandated to do under the bylaw. Alas, welcome to John Tory’s Hogtown. If there was a CSI spinoff to be filmed here, CSI Toronto would dispatch investigators to carry out investigations at non-crime scenes, at which NO crimes have been committed!

When we visited Bill’s superb store last week, it was full of appreciative customers/supporters, and one of them was none other than the notorious Chris Sky.

Chris has been a fixture at “Yahoo Nation” anti-lockdown protests in Toronto since last spring. Like Bill Fehr and so many others, Chris is all about mask-choice and ending the debilitating economic lockdown that is surely causing more harm than good.

Nevertheless, Chris had a most welcome experience shopping for groceries at J & W Foods, sans face mask. Chris and his ilk are usually harassed by security guards and even charged by police (!) for claiming a medical exemption in terms of wearing a mask. Such was not the case here.

Compare that to a Saturday in late January in which Chris led dozens of mask-exempt anti-lockdown protesters into such stores as Shoppers Drug Mart, Longo’s, and Whole Foods to do some shopping, much to the chagrin of store managers who claimed that their internal company policy actually trumps the rule of law! Can’t wait to see how that plays out in a court of law.

Later that day, Chris was in for a surprise when he went to his SUV to drive home and was accosted by Toronto Police officers who tossed him into a paddy wagon and later charged him with one count of common nuisance and four counts of public mischief.

In any event, Chris was at J & W Foods to show his support for a merchant who actually believes in reasonable accommodation when it comes to non-mask wearers — something the Toronto bylaw actually mandates.

As for the near future, Chris says he will indeed be in Ottawa this coming Sunday, to be part of what is expected to be a huge anti-lockdown protest on Parliament Hill. The question arises: will Ottawa law enforcement and their political masters allow freedom of expression and assembly on the Hill? Or will there be another brutal Yonge-Dundas Square-like crackdown on civil liberties? We shall all find out on Valentine’s Day.

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  • By David Menzies

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