Vaccine passports and mandates are forcing thousands of Canadians to lose their jobs, their education, their health—and their voice.
That’s why I’ve partnered with the Government of Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities to give voiceless Canadians an opportunity to share their stories about vaccine passports and mandates with Ontario’s policy makers.
In less than two weeks, we’ve received close to a hundred depressing stories from Ontarians and all Canadians about how the vaccine passports and mandates are destroying their lives.
We will share all of these stories with Ontario’s policy makers. However, I can only share some of them in this article. Here are some of the stories:
Hannah, from Peterborough, Ontario:
I would like to preface this by stating that I am not “anti-vax” nor am I “anti-government.” With that being said, vaccine passports have severely impacted my ability to live a happy, fulfilling life. After having a moderately severe allergic reaction to my first vaccine I have become extremely hesitant to receive the second one. While I had reported my reaction to my doctor (which included widespread hives and breathing complications within 1 hr of receiving the vaccine), I was told to simply take allergy medicine before I go for my second dose. This recommendation came from both my doctor and Peterborough Public Health. It took me 1 week to recover from the reaction and it made it nearly impossible to work or get things done around the home. Prior to vaccine passports, I could have just said ‘ok, I don’t want to risk a further reaction. I won’t get the second one.’ Now, however, I am unable to fully participate in society, including going to the gym which I use regularly to manage my mental and physical health. I am now being forced to choose which part of my physical health I want to sacrifice; do I want to give up being physically active or do I want to deal with hives and breathing difficulties? I don’t have an answer for that. I believe that it is very unfair for our government to be forcing us to make these decisions. A government should not have a say in how I manage my personal health. It is important to realize that medical exemptions are very difficult to receive because even though this impacted my ability to breathe and function for a week, it was not deemed “severe enough” to exclude me from future vaccines. This has been a living nightmare that has impacted my ability to work (due to vaccine mandates there as well), and live a meaningful life. Since the announcement of Ontario’s passport system I have seen my mental health severely deteriorate, and unfortunately I do not see any end in sight. This government needs to end this authoritarianism and trust people to make the best decisions for themselves. This is not the government I voted for in 2018; that government actually cared for the people. I will not be making the same mistake twice.
Thad, from Mississauga, Ontario:
Since the announcement of the vaccine mandates there have been several ways our lives have been impacted. [My wife] is a nurse and has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and even was stationed in a hospital drive-through testing unit for a few months. However, now because of the mandates, she is facing job loss. This feels like a slap in the face. After about 9 years serving as a nurse on the frontlines, she’s being told that she may lose her job based on her informed decision to not take the novel vaccines. Just a few months ago she and other nurses and healthcare professionals were hailed as heroes. Now, even though many of them have had COVID, recovered and now have robust natural immunity, they’re given an ultimatum, “get the jab or lose your job.” Are we really saying that healthcare workers aren’t able to make an informed decision about their own medical choices? Especially when many of them see people come into their clinics with adverse effects from the vaccines? Now, we’re faced with the prospect of having to readjust to living with one income.
Alicia, from Guelph, Ontario:
I am 3rd yr student at Uof Guelph. I am not vaxxed bc I don’t feel comfortable taking it; there is a family history of auto-immune diseases. A family member now has a debilitating disease after getting the vaxx. I submitted a medical exemption which they denied. I am now in jeopardy of not being able to complete my degree. I am a good student and work hard. I am on the dean’s list. I would be the first person in my family to get a degree. My dad is disabled and my mom can only work part time bc she has to take care of him. The University sprung this on us last minute. I had already paid two months rent and signed a lease…The problem is the school isn’t offering an alternate to classes that I need that are in person. I am not allowed to be on campus. I can’t take the courses I need to finish my degree. I may not ever be able to finish my degree. I want to do a masters in Urban Planning. It’s my dream. I am depressed and cry every morning thinking about my future being ripped from me. The least Doug Ford should do is mandate the schools to provide an alternate so people like me can finish their degree. I am so sad.
Sher, from Toronto, Ontario:
I am a teacher in Ontario who up until now, loved her job. I love being surrounded by kids, teaching them to think critically, engaging in meaningful (and sometimes silly) discussions, and seeing them enjoy learning. Now, I walk into work just waiting for the day I will told I can’t anymore because I took the time to think for myself, weigh the risks and benefits of a particular medical treatment, and independently decided to decline–all things that a good teacher would teach their students to do (pre-covid, atleast). This all seems so backwards. History alone should have taught us that discrimination of any form is evil. But in addition, today’s society’s emphasis on “battling oppression of any kind” (ex. racism, sexism, etc.) should also be motivation enough to prevent something like this. How is this any different?
Wendi, from London, Ontario:
I have been a professor at a college for 13 years and because of the mandates, I will lose my job in January when we have to back to on campus teaching. Even though the colleges in Ontario were promoting more online teaching and hybrid courses before the pandemic, that is no longer possible, we HAVE to teach on campus in the winter term and that means we all have to have the vaccine. I have autoimmune conditions that get significantly worse from the adjuvant effects of all vaccines so I will not get the vaccine. I have 4 young adult kids living with me that may have to find another relative to live with because they are simply not at a place in their life where they can afford apartments on their own. I will have to sell my house that my kids were raised in because I will have to down size since I can’t afford to pay a mortgage if I have no job. Not to mention the fact that I have used a gym for my entire life to maintain my physical and mental health and now I can no longer use a gym. The last thing I want to mention is that I may have to move completely out of the city because being around so many vaccinated people that are shedding spike proteins is also significantly affecting my health. I have 2 week long heavy periods when I am around anyone that has been vaccinated even though I have been pre-menopausal for a few years.
Mark, from Hamilton, Ontario:
Hi, I am from the family of the German concentration camps survivors. My family lived under occupation and after the WWII under soviet occupation. I personally experienced Soviet/Communist regime when I was young. The situation in Canada and Ontario resembles that time. I feel like a prisoner. I escape my communist occupied homeland and came to Canada to live in peace. Unfortunately, what Canada is serving me now is like moving back in time to me teenage time. Canada, you are one step from hard core communism and possibly fascism. Canadians, wake up!
I am a registered nurse with 29 years of experience and 13 years to go until retirement. I will be losing my full time position due to the vaccine mandates. Apparently my skills and experience are not valued or appreciated if I am not jabbed with an experimental shot to an infection of which I already have full natural immunity to.
My children are not allowed to play their sports because the city implemented vax passes to enter every public city facility. Libraries, rinks, pools etc. that we pay for.
Judith, from Kitchener, Ontario:
I am a personal support worker in Ontario. I will soon be unemployed despite the shortage of personal support workers because I refuse to be vaccinated.
Andrew, from Bancroft, Ontario:
My wife and I both received our first vaccine doses last month. Three days later, a large spontaneous bruise appeared on her leg. We went to the hospital, and they ruled out blood clots. Since that time, several more bruises have appeared on her leg with no discernible cause. None of these bruises have fully healed. She never had this problem prior to receiving the vaccine. We are not anti-vaxx, nor are we completely convinced that this internal bleeding is causally connected to the vaccine. But naturally, we want to take a little time to research and weigh our decision about whether/when to get the second dose, in consultation with various doctors. Our anniversary is tomorrow, and I want to take my wife out to a nice restaurant to celebrate. But because we are taking a little bit of extra time to make the best informed decision for her health and well-being, we are not permitted to enter any of the restaurants I had in mind. I hate being treated like second-class citizens just for exercising the power of informed choice. No one should be coerced into making this kind of decision. Because of our experience, even if/when we receive the second dose, we will NOT download the health code or patronize any business that requires proof of vaccination. We first decided to get vaccinated because we believed it was the best medical decision FOR US, not so we could be first-class citizens in a segregated society. Until all Ontarians are allowed to make their medical decisions without coercion, we have no desire to receive special privileges for “compliance.”
John, from Markham, Ontario:
More than anything else, I find that this discrimination against people who have made a personal medical choice, for whatever reason, is extremely upsetting to me. I am absolutely appalled that this is happening in our “free and democratic “ society and I am even more appalled that the majority are okay with this…..makes me want to find another place to raise my kids and live the rest of my life!
Both of my husband’s grandmas were pressured to take the vaccine. Both still were active and live on their own but family pressured them into taking their shots. One is now in kidney failure with dialysis 3 days a week and the other has dizzy/blackout spells. An ambulance had to pick her up off the street after she had a spell and fell in Saskatoon. It has torn the families apart. My mom doesn’t want the vaccine so my parents cannot go out to dinner or travel. Under the new restrictions they can’t have visitors either. She volunteers at a Bibles for Missions store so if they implement the passport, she can no longer volunteer there. I have a friend in Saskatoon who received his shots after his roommate (who is a nurse) was told she would lose her job if she even lived with someone who isn’t vaccinated. He has experienced days of vomiting and intolerance to heat as well as headaches. A close friend has been diagnosed with schizophrenia in the last year and he has been having trouble with the meds. Unfortunately he also works for AHS so he was also told that he must vaccinate or be out of a job. He had to be admitted to the hospital and rather than getting him better mentally first, they made sure to pressure him to get the shot under duress. His wife said they don’t know if the side effects he’s receiving are from the shot or the change of medication. She doesn’t feel they even care. Then there are 5 other friends (4 separate families) who also work for AHS – all told they will be losing their jobs. Some of these people are the bread winners of their families. One of the 5 looks after babies – including COVID cases. Her husband works for a university, and they are mandating the vaccine passport since Alberta placed Universities with Retail Businesses. So they are BOTH looking at unemployment. They have 3 small children. A couple we are friends with are relators – both anticipating to lose their jobs soon. My husband who works in the insurance business has until November to vaccinate or lose his job. He struggles with heart palpitations and anxiety. Losing his job is not helping. Our next door neighbour couldn’t see her dying grandpa unless she was vaccinated. The church we just left said they would comply: stop the unvaccinated from coming if they had to implement the vaccine passport.
Deanna, from Hamilton, Ontario:
I am a student at McMaster University. I am currently enrolled in my 3rd year and the vaccine mandate has hit me pretty hard. I was informed by the school in the third week of August that I would need to be vaccinated to be on campus. I had to decide if my studies were more important than my morals. I believe vaccines work and I am vaccinated, but I do not agree with the mandates that force people to choose if they want to have access to certain privileges or not. I chose to ger vaccinated because of the pressure that society was placing on me to get it. The hate that I felt when I was unvaccinated was overwhelming, especially as I am someone with a severe mental disability. My bodily autonomy should be left up to the decision of myself and my doctors and not up to the decision of the government. Not only that, but people should not need to know my vaccination status. My teachers are not allowed to know my mental disabilities without my consent. I receive accommodations through McMaster and it was explained to me that I do not have to disclose any of my diagnoses with anyone (not even my advisor). My medical status should not be shared with strangers and it should not give me the right to enter certain premises. That is classicism and is what is dividing Canadians when we should be united. I will fight for my freedoms, as well as those who have chosen not to succumb to the pressure of the government. We have rights as individuals and our leading politicians should listen to their constituents and advocate for them. Since they are not, we will continue to fight for our rights.
Benjamin, from Toronto, Ontario:
I proposed to my fiancé in March 2021. We had planned to have our wedding in Ontario May 2022. We compiled a guest list, started planning a theme, spent many hours researching the right venue, and finally decided on a venue we both liked that was in our budget. As we were booking the venue, it was announced that proof of vaccination would be required for all events in Ontario.. We are both unvaccinated, and there are members of both our families that are unvaccinated. We had to cancel our wedding plans for now. We told both our parents, and officially put the planning on hold. I’m now unsure when, if ever, we’ll be able to have our wedding.
Carrie, from Ontario:
Hello, I am a self employed business owner. I started my wedding and portrait photography business at age 17 when I photographed my first wedding. I’ve always wanted to run my own business and I’m so thankful for the last 6 years of photographing countless clients and events. I have epilepsy and a history of blood clots and do not feel comfortable taking the vaccine. Several people close to me have had negative side effects, and I cannot afford to have a negative side effect. There are no long term studies on this vaccine as well as no studies with people with epilepsy. Having a seizure means losing my driver’s license as well as my independence. If I have a seizure, I won’t be able to even shower without being monitored. I have thought through this decision for a long time. I have researched. I have talked to my doctors (I don’t count for a medical exemption). Because of my choice to remain unvaccinated I will not be allowed into wedding venues, which means I will lose the majority of my business. My medical decisions, which I, and I alone, will have to live with the results of, should not stop me from being able to do my job. For the past year and a half, I wore a mask while working. I social distanced as much as I was able to while doing my job to the best of my ability. But only NOW has the government decided that my personal medical decision is not important and I should not be able to work. I wept when I read about this mandate. I don’t want to give up what I’ve worked the last six years for. I am a hard working Canadian who has only ever wanted to work hard and live a simple life for myself and my family. But… I have a question for you Government(s)of Canada and Ontario. If I (like many others) get this vaccine and along with it a negative side effect (whether short term or long term), will I be allowed to be a productive member of society then? Will you support me and drive me everywhere I need to go? Will you be there for the vaccine injured, or will you cast them into the shadows? This decision I make is mine and mine alone, and nothing you mandate will change my mind. You will not FORCE me to take something that I am not comfortable with. You can take my job, you can take my social life, you can take my entrepreneurial heart, but you, Government(s) of Canada and Ontario, will NOT take my freedom. That is not your right. God has given me this body to use for His glory alone, and while I have done my best to honour every decision these governments have made over the last 18 months, there comes a time to stand for bodily autonomy and my right to choose what goes into it. So I will STAND. Whatever the consequences may be.