Will the hospitality sector begin standing up for their clients?

By Pepper Parr

September 2nd, 2021



So – there is going to be a vaccine passport. Took the Premier long enough to get a wiggle on. He is right however – why isn’t there a federally issued Covid19 Passport?

Being able to prove that you are vaccinated is critical. Getting everyone fully vaccinated is proving a little difficult but we are at close to 80% and with the need to have that passport to be able to get into a restaurant or an event will push the number to, ideally 95%.

Provision has been made for the exceptions.

For those who don’t want to get vaccinated there are limits to what they can do in a public setting.

The one that really galls me is this. I have to be able to show that I have been fully vaccinated but the person taking my order in a restaurant, but the person serving the food and the person cooking the food does not have to prove they are vaccinated.

I was in a restaurant in Guelph talking with the owner and he said that he could not ask his employees if they were vaccinated.


That restaurant owner wants me to have a meal in his restaurant but he isn’t prepared to ensure that his staff is Covid free.

I want to go to a restaurant that has the courage to put a sign on the front door saying all their staff are vaccinated.

Those that aren’t – tell them not to bother coming to work until they are vaccinated. What about their human rights? What about my right to stay alive?

There is something wrong with a set up that requires me to be vaccinated in order to be served but does not require the server to be vaccinated.

If the restaurants want our business, which many of us really want to give them, then let those restaurants step up and be bold enough to make it clear they are watching out for us.

Restaurants turned to the city for help and they were given help. A lot of taxpayer money was shoveled out the door to help the hospitality sector and most people were happy to see this done.

Our Council members urged us to support the hospitality sector and to begin shopping locally.

I’d like to see those in the hospitality sector looking out for me while I dine in their establishments.

I’d also like to see the Burlington Downtown Business Association counseling their members to care for the people that they want to attract.

There is a film crew using the third floor of the building my office is in.   I rent office space on the third floor.  Every member of the film crew is masked.

Juliana Robertson

Juliana Robertson, a paramedic by training, asked me to come to the table she had set up so that she could put a little stick up my nostril to ensure that I was not infected even though I told her I have been fully vaccinated.

Sorry she said – you have to do this. I surely had the right to go to my office and do my work.  I decided not to challenge her right to “invade my privacy” She asked me to wait 10 minutes for the results and then told me I was good to go.

Robertson runs Reel Medics in Motion – her market is the film production companies  doing their filming in Hamilton. She is the Medic/Covid Supervisor on the Ghosts of Christmas Past production.  She does the Covid testing and is the first responder for anyone hurt on the film set.

It would be really nice if the hospitality sector was as conscientious.


Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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6 comments to Will the hospitality sector begin standing up for their clients?

  • Hilary Durrant

    People who are fully vaccinated can still become infected and due to being fully vaccinated only show very mild symptoms. Vaccinated people are far more likely to spread the virus even more than those who are not vaccinated.
    Yes have a passport however, I am sure that many covid passport holders may suffer a placebo effect – security of not getting infected with covid, causing them not to continue personal hygene.
    Wherever people go, the virus is going to be around so yes, have a passport but still expect to be tested, with good grace. It will stop you from spreading as well.

  • David Barker

    The author of the opinion piece asks “why isn’t there a federally issued Covid19 Passport?”. The simple answer is that all matters healthcare management and provision are the exclusive jurisdiction of the Provinces. Whilst a federal passport would be the best solution, as with most things Canadian when it would be in everybody’s best interests to have a common nationwide approach to an issue we revert to engage 13 separate countries in a federation; all doing their own thing. You can bet your bottom dollar had the federal government suggested a national federally run passport there would have been hotels of “federal overreach” particularly from Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

  • Bob

    While I agree with both Tom and Pepper (I know, I find that strange as well), the other side is that tonight my wife and I went downtown to a local pub for dinner and it took almost an hour to come as there is not enough staff. It’s a six of one, half dozen of the another scenario. Do they get rid of some of the staff that is already n9t enough?
    I don’t know the answer, I just sympathize with both sides of the situation

    • perryb

      Bob, the other part of the equation is that if you need to attract more staff, you need to pay more. That means it’s going to cost the patrons more. The old business model of paying workers minimum wage or less and hoping they make up the difference in tips or a second job is broken, perhaps forever. The first courageous operator to advertise good service and no tipping and price accordingly will either lead the way or go down in flames. That’s up to us to decide.

  • Tom Muir

    If I had known when I posted my first comment I would have added the following, just posted in the Spec today.

    “Halton Public Health is investigating new COVID-19 cases involving restaurant employees in Oakville and Burlington.”

  • Tom Muir

    Good piece Pepper – called Opinion, but mostly facts we all should know.

    After all the whining I heard from the hospitality sector about the impacts of Covid,and the on and off lockdowns, it’s amazing they refuse to insist staff be vaccinated. What are they not thinking? More closures?

    Staff walk around all shift, close to numerous people and contacting, so if infected they are transmitting to air and are spreaders. This is what closed the industry almost completely in the first place, so what’s the problem? Do they want to repeat that history?

    I ask those people the limerick I hear all the time – what would you do with a brain if you had one?

    To start, listen to Pepper.