vaccine passport

Ontario police just busted someone for selling fake vaccine passports

A 27-year-old man from Quebec is now facing multiple charges for creating and selling fake vaccine passports to residents of both his home province and Ontario amid new proof-of-vaccination requirements for certain public indoor settings.

The Ottawa Police Service announced on Tuesday the result of what it deemed an "extensive and complex" investigation involving multiple units, which led to the apprehension of one Pierre Patry and charges of forgery, uttering a forged document, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession for the purpose of trafficking and laundering the proceeds of a crime.

The resident of Gatineau — which is just a quick hop over the provincial border from Ottawa — was also charged with two counts of possession of proceeds of a crime under $5,000, meaning he must have had quite a bit of cash from his illicit side hustle on him at the time of his arrest.

"The Ottawa Police would like to remind Ottawa residents that selling, purchasing, utilizing or knowingly accepting false COVID-19 vaccination credentials (certificate/passport) is a Criminal Offence and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," the force wrote in its release on the bust, which occurred on Monday.

"Participating in such offences puts everybody at risk and fragilizes our community's public health."

The investigation is still ongoing, with Patry set to appear in court in the coming weeks.

Since Sept. 1, people in Quebec have been required to show valid documentation proving they're inoculated against COVID-19 to enter bars, restaurants, gyms, casinos, theatres, event venues and more, while Ontario's vaccine mandates launched a few weeks later on Sept. 22.

An enhanced QR code version of the digital and paper slip originally distributed by the Ontario Ministry of Health post-jab was just rolled out earlier this month, though both forms will still be accepted until the temporary program eventually ceases in January.

Meanwhile, the federal government will start checking residents' proof of vaccination before permitting them on any VIA Rail train, cruise ship or flight departing from a Canadian airport on Oct. 30.

Health officials in Ontario have said that they feelmedical exemptions for gettting the vaccine, of which there are only two, are being issued far too liberally given how statistically unlikely they are, showing the lengths those who oppose the immunization for ideological reasons will go to avoid having to get it.

Lengths that include, apparently, wading into the vaccine card black market.

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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