About sixty people held a noisy protest outside of the Quebec City sports lounge holding the first pilot project testing Quebec’s vaccine passport system, which comes into effect on Sept. 1.
La Cage Brasserie Sportive supports the passport; its president said it will make things safer for both customers and staff.
“The biggest news for us is that we’re sure with this passport that we won’t close for a fourth time,” said Jean Bédard.
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The vaccine passport is a polarizing issue, dividing Quebecers and politicians. Opposition parties said before limiting individual freedoms, there should first be a public debate.
Some protesters Thursday held up Stars of David and signs that read “segregation” — comparing the passport system to segregation of Jews during the Second World War.
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“You can have whatever opinion you want about the vaccine passport, but to compare it to Nazi Germany, which set out to annihilate an entire race of people, is grossly unacceptable,” said Steven Slimovitch from B’nai Brith Canada.
The passport may infringe on some charter rights, but in this case, some legal experts say it’s likely defendable.
“All the rights that are in the charter are subject to reasonable limits that can be demonstrably justified in a democratic society,” said McGill law professor, Pearl Eliadis.
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However, some people have taken their opposition to the extreme.
One man was arrested after allegedly making death threats against Health Minister Christian Dubé and his family.
“This is what bothers me a lot,” Dubé said in response.
He added that security threats have become a common reality for politicians, but he’s choosing to focus on his job of protecting Quebecers from the virus.