EDMONTON — An Edmonton restaurant owner will be restricting dine-in to only those who are vaccinated.
Declining an interview with CityNews — Fleisch Delikatessen tweeted the notice on Friday, garnering lots of mixed reactions.
We will be requiring proof of vaccination to dine indoors. We understand that this may be controversial for some, but making this choice was easy for us. Community > everything, and we will continue to do our part in prioritizing your health and the safety of our staff. ????
— FLEISCH DELIKATESSEN (@FleischYeg) August 7, 2021
While some local businesses offered support — others angrily pushed back.
One person on Twitter calling the move “an unnecessary act of medical segregation, discrimination and an infringement of basic medical rights and freedoms.”
But the constitution doesn’t enter into this situation says one expert.
“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to freedom of conscience and religion which I expect be the main source of these kinds of arguments, but the issue with making that argument against private businesses is that the charter only applies to government,” said Howard Kislowicz, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.
However, there could be an argument for violating human rights says another law expert.
“There is nothing legally preventing businesses from requiring proof of vaccine. But the human rights code basically demands that people be accommodated if they have a health reason (for why) they can’t be vaccinated,” said Lorian Hardcastle an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.
Saying what the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will require of businesses that implement vaccine passports is still unknown.
“So, it might be that it requires those individuals to wear masks when they are walking around the restaurants until they are eating. It might be that they seat them in an area where there are no other tables around. It might be that they require negative testing results,” said Hardcastle.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has given its stamp of approval to vaccine passports — saying it would help to prevent future waves of the pandemic forcing a resurgence of lockdowns.