ontario vaccine passport

Ontario restaurant welcomes unvaccinated customers in defiance of government orders

A well-established restaurant in Oakville, Ontario, is refusing to take part in the provincial government's new mandatory vaccine passport program, raising questions among members of the public about how thoroughly proof-certificate regulations are actually being enforced.

Zuchinnis Cucina, located just west of Toronto at 438 Kerr Street in Oakville, first made its intentions to welcome unvaccinated diners clear in an Instagram post on September 11.

"All are welcome, we do not discriminate against any customer regardless of sex, age, religion, creed or vaccination status," reads an image shared in that captionless post.

With more than 1,500 likes, the post sparked a torrent of positive comments from people who agree with the restaurant's stance. 

"Bravo!! Stay strong in that!!" reads the top comment. "Thank you for not complying with tyrants!" reads the comment after that.

Then came another controversial post on Sept. 22 — the same day Ontario started requiring people to show official proof-of-vaccination documents to access certain indoor businesses, including restaurants and bars.

"Thanks for the support and leading us!" reads the caption of that post, in which Zuchinnis' executive chef Giuseppe Ferraro poses with infamous anti-lockdown rabble rouser Chris Sky. "#justsayno #novaxpassports #freedomofchoice #unitednoncompliance."

Again, the post attracted hundreds of commenters who praised the restaurant for taking a stance against rules that they believe violate their human rights.

Incidentally, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has clarified that anyone who "chooses not to be vaccinated based on personal preference does not have the right to accommodation under the Code." 

Both restaurant guests and owners can be issued fines starting at $750 and $1,000, respectively, for failing to comply with vaccine passport regulations, though few tickets have been issued to date.

Halton Regional Police, who serve the community of Oakville, have yet to respond to questions about possible enforcement efforts at Zuchinnis and whether or not they've attended the establishment.

"Hey Friends. Just want to remind you that we accept EVERY and ANYONE in our establishment," wrote the restaurant in the caption of yet another Instagram post last week.

"We are non discriminative in anyways (sex, age, gender, race, creed… etc.) and respect our fellow Canadians. Thank you all for the support. This is not about being 'anti-vaxx' / 'pro-vaxx' but indeed about being a patriot and citizen of our country!"

Lead photo by

Zuchinnis Cucina

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