Peel Police will respond to COVID-19 passport complaints similar disturbance complaints
Published September 15, 2021 at 11:49 am
Peel Regional Police say any additional calls from businesses brought about by angry customers refusing to comply with Ontario’s new COVID-19 vaccine certificate system will be handled as similar disturbance complaints have always been dealt with.
Const. Akhil Mooken said he wasn’t aware of Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott’s comments yesterday urging business employees to call 9-1-1 immediately if they feel threatened by non-complying customers after the new passport-type system takes effect Sept. 22.
As far as he’s concerned, though, Mooken said police will do what they’ve always done, and take a wait-and-see approach regarding any significant increase in calls to police, should they occur.
“Any time an offence is occurring, and people feel they need police, they can call,” said Mooken, who urges callers to only use 9-1-1 in an emergency. Other incidents can be reported to Peel Police at 905-453-2121.
Elliott said yesterday that in terms of tying up emergency lines, she doesn’t anticipate a huge volume of calls.
“People know what the rules are, and we’re expecting them to follow (the rules),” said Elliott. “I don’t anticipate the demand (placed on 9-1-1 responders) will be huge. I expect compliance.”
Yesterday, the Ontario government issued guidance for businesses that will soon have to enforce its new COVID-19 vaccine certificate system.
Starting next Wednesday, patrons will need to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter settings such as restaurants, theatres and gyms.
The province says businesses and patrons who don’t follow the rules could be fined.
The system will initially require patrons to show a paper or digital receipt of vaccination along with a form of government-issued identification, such as a driver’s licence, birth certificate or health card.
Businesses must ensure the name and date of birth on the vaccination receipt match those on the identification document before allowing customers access to the venue.
Businesses will not have to validate medical exemption notes that may be presented—officials say a standardized note is in the works.
The province says enforcement officers are starting to visit businesses this week to discuss the system’s requirements, which apply to patrons but not venue workers.
Businesses are instructed to contact law enforcement about harassment or threats over the policy.
The government says all provincial offences officers—including bylaw, police and public health inspectors—can provide education on the system and issue fines related to it.
–with files from The Canadian Press
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