John Tory says he gets why people 'have a beef' with Ontario's vaccine passport
In the wake of the announcement of Ontario's forthcoming vaccine passport on Wednesday — and the protests against it that quickly ensued at Queen's Park — Toronto Mayor John Tory has said that he fully understands why some people are taking issue with the new system.
But, though he supports their right to peaceful protest, he does believe that some anti-vax demonstrations lately have gotten "unreasonable" and have necessitated police intervention.
"I would hope that people who have a beef with this — and I get that, there are people who have a beef with a lot of things, I get that at my job every day — can go about their protests in a peaceful way that is not involve harassing others" Tory told CityNews Thursday morning on the topic of the new vaccine certificate.
I don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but it looks like @TorontoPolice have completely & utterly lost control of the situation.— Caryma Sa'd - Cartoon Creator (@CarymaRules) September 1, 2021
The intersection at Gerrard & University is blocked by angry #antivaxxers. Hopefully no ambulances need to get through? #onpoli #cdnpoli #Elxn44 pic.twitter.com/a7RwXb1bvY
While he may empathize with their cause, he reiterated that he is still a strong proponent of using proof of immunization to mitigate COVID spread and ensure peeople entering indoor settings such as bars, restaurants and movie theatres are as protected as possible moving forward further into the fourth wave.
The municipal leader is among those who have been advocating for weeks that Ford give in and implement such a program after the premier stated in July that it would definitely not be happening due to the fact that it would create a "split society," which he could not stand for.
Sources began indicating late last week that Ford was being forced to change his tune after so many politicians, local businesses, top health officials (of every single public health region in the province) and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanded that he introduce such a system, as has been rolled out in B.C. and Quebec.
He announced the measure in a much-anticipated press conference on Wednesday afternoon, during which is was quite evident that he still wasn't personally and wholeheartedly behind the idea, despite his health team pushing for it.
But, Tory believes that the certificate I think will help residents, businesses and the healthcare system, hopefully preventing further closures and lockdowns.
"The idea here is to keep people safe... the entire idea here is to avoid the worst case scenario," he said in his interview with City.
"The worse case scenario with [modelling projecton] case counts is based on the assumption that we did nothing. Well, Premier Ford has done something here, and that is going to cause the vaccination rate to go up."
Though Tory has previously discussed silly things like his hair in interviews, he is generally known for being far more earnest and using less colloquialisms — such as the "beef" comment — than Premier Ford, who is happy to talk about people being a few fries short of a happy meal, to compare himelf to a 800-pound gorilla or to talk about doobies.
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