First off today - tonight, is the third night of Sukkot, so Chag Sameach to all those celebrating the Jewish harvest festival this week. I'm looking forward to virtually attending an upcoming memorial held by Holy Blossom Temple and the Anishnawbe Health Foundation this Sunday, September 26. If you’re interested in attending you can RSVP here, and learn more about the event here.
Starting today, Ontario’s proof of vaccination program has come into effect, here’s what that means.
What documentation do you need?
In some establishments you will be required to show proof that you have received two shots of an approved vaccine at least 14 days ago, and a corresponding piece of government issued identification with your name and date of birth.
To download your proof of vaccination, click here.
As an alternative to the Ontario government website, you can also call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
You can also use an Ontario vaccine receipt which you should have received when you got your dose, in either a physical or digital copy. Alternatively, you can also use a vaccination receipt that’s been signed by an Indigenous Health Provider, or a vaccination receipt from another jurisdiction outside of Ontario that shows that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
If you were vaccinated outside of Ontario, click here to find out more.
Some of the valid government issued identification cards to go with your proof of vaccination are:
- Driver’s license
- Health card
- Birth certificate
- Indigenous Membership Card, or Indian Status Card
- Citizenship card
- Permanent resident card
Tip: Toronto Public Libraries are now offering free printing of vaccination receipts. Anyone is welcome to use their computers or free wi-fi at a local library to print off their receipt.
So where will you need to show your proof of vaccination?
Right now, here are some of the places you will need to show for proof of vaccination. (Note – these are all for indoor settings)
- Meeting and event spaces, including conference and convention centres
- Food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restoclubs
- Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
- Facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks and personal fitness training
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
- Racing venues
- Where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences
You do not need to show proof of vaccination in order to solely:
- use a washroom
- access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route
- make a retail purchase
- place, pick up or pay for an order
- make a bet or pick up winnings at a racing track
- purchase an admission
You also do not need to show your proof of vaccination if you:
- enter as may be necessary for health and safety purposes
- are under age 12
- are under age 18 and entering the indoor premises of a sports or recreational facility solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport
- have a valid document from a physician or nurse practitioner saying you have a medical exemption from full vaccination
For more information about this new program, including information about medical exemptions, rules for weddings, funerals and more, click here.
While it’s certainly better to have something than nothing, this program still falls short of what we need to get through this pandemic, and is leaving some large loopholes for the anti-vax crowd. Specifically, unvaccinated folks will still be in places that require vaccine certificates, as there are carve-outs for making a purchase or working a shift.
Perhaps more worrying still are some of the indoor – and potentially crowded – settings like malls and non-essential retail that have been left off the list requiring certificates.
Still unaddressed are the protests that we’ve been seeing around small businesses, hospitals, and vaccination clinics. Hopefully, with Doug Ford back out of hiding, the Ontario NDP can have our Safety Zone legislation passed quickly, which would see anti-public health protests banned from the areas around businesses, hospitals, and clinics.
Finally, on a local note, I’m happy to share with everyone an exciting program being put together by the powerhouse team at the Oakwood Village Community Organization (OVCO), the OV Futures Search.
In the search, they are asking the community to come together and help shape the future by developing an OV Community Plan. In this plan, the goal is to hear from the community what they want to experience over the next ten years. While there are many different views about what we all want for the neighbourhood, the idea here is to bring many voices to the table and make the plan as representative as possible. They will be keying in on lived experiences and insights from local community members.
I’m looking forward to this event and to hearing directly from the community about what they want the future to look like.
If you’re interested in attending, it is scheduled for September 27, from 5:30 to 8:00PM outside the former Vaughan Road Academy building (529 Vaughan Road). Masks are required, and attendees are encouraged to bring a chair if you can.
To find out more, or request an accommodation, you can email them at [email protected] or check out the OVCO OV Community Plan website, by clicking here.