vaccine passport ontario

This map is exposing Ontario businesses alleged to be defying vaccine passport rules

Ontario's vaccine passport mandate took effect last week, and between the protests and growing tensions, there's a behind-the-scenes fight emerging between anti-mandate businesses and those looking to expose them.

While by no means the opening salvo in this battle, the September launch of sent a clear message to businesses, giving them an avenue to declare their "support [for] freedom of choice" against public health measures in the highly politicized fight against the pandemic.

News of this Canadawide list of participating businesses openly defying the mandate — only available to members of the website — generated concern, including from one citizen who took it upon herself to infiltrate this community and expose those involved.

According to the #StopNoPassList website, the author — who has requested to remain anonymous in light of rising tensions and violence from the anti-vax community — first learned of the No Pass List from blogTO.

The author of the website tells blogTO, "Reading the article from blogTO, I felt sick. These past 18 months have been traumatic at the best of times, and when the provincial government finally released news of a vaccine passport at the beginning of September, I felt hope for the first time in a long time."

"This article detailing this website crushed that hope and felt like a slap in the face to every frontline worker, healthcare provider and every life taken from the coronavirus."

"I remember seeing the post and sending it to my friends who live in the city to warn them. But when they tried to open it, it was blocked [with access] for members only. It was that day that I started investigating how I could become a member."

After reading the post, she quickly developed a plan and put it into action, knowing that time was of the essence.

"In terms of the time it took me to research and plan this out, I knew it had to be quick. I registered as a member. This was a lengthy process because they would sift through every person trying to gain access to their list."

There were hurdles along the way, like multiple levels of verification looking into her email address and Facebook account, something she thinks was intended "to weed out any pro-vaccine supporters."

"I was finally accepted as a member and started scrolling through the list and realized that this was much bigger than I ever anticipated. At the time I gained access, there were over 1,200 businesses registered in Ontario, about 80 of which were in Toronto."

Alarmed by the sheer number of businesses that had signed up for No Pass List, she attempted to connect with several news networks, but a story never materialized.

"So I took matters into my own hands, parsed the data from the website, created the map and wrote a blog post to try and out these businesses to keep my community safe."

Her data includes staggering numbers, with more than 100 businesses in Toronto alone now allegedly registered to the list of the over 1,200 in Ontario.

A custom-created Google Maps layer plots the locations on this list of participating businesses.

She had hoped to expand her map to include businesses in other Greater Toronto Area cities, reaching Ajax before taking a break. Upon resuming, she found that the website's creators had taken down the list.

In place of the list, the website creators have uploaded a statement.

"We are the land of the coerced, cowardly and the spineless, and Canada will never recover from this. Any Canadian or Canadian business in favour of vaccine passports should feel ashamed and deep disgust for themselves, as you will forever be on the wrong side of history," the statement reads.

The quote also has a bit directed at businesses who voice opposition to vaccine passport mandates in Ontario and other provinces before changing their tune when the systems were ultimately rolled out.

"This also includes businesses who were loud and proud on social media about not enforcing vaccine passports and then decided to backpedal when the going got tough. Yes, you are also a part of the problem."

Lead photo by Caryma Sa'd

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