An Ontario politician says he made a personal choice not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and he won’t be coerced into getting the shots. Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls is now facing removal from the Progressive Conservative caucus. Nicholls was one of two Tory MPPs facing a deadline to show proof of vaccination or a medical exemption or be ousted. “I took the premier at his word that vaccination is a choice and that all Ontarians have a constitutional right to make such a choice,” Nicholls said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. He added that under no circumstances “should I, nor should any Ontarian, be forced or coerced to do something against their will.” Nicholls added: “To do so is an affront to the democratic principles of this magnificent institution.” The other unvaccinated legislator — Christina Mitas, who represents Scarborough Centre — has been allowed to stay in caucus, because she has a letter from her doctor granting her a medical exemption.
The Vast Majority of Canadians Support Proof of Vaccination Certificates:
A new survey suggests a majority of Canadians support a system that would require proof of vaccination to access some non-essential services. According to the poll, conducted by Leger, 76 per cent of respondents say they would strongly — or somewhat strongly — support a vaccine passport like the one Quebec is implementing. Its passport will apply in places like bars, concerts and festivals where there are lots of people in a confined space.
Survey Finds 60% Of Canadian Small and Medium Size Businesses Require Vaccination:
A KPMG survey of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada has found more than 60 per cent have made COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for employees or plan to do so. KPMG says many businesses are becoming comfortable with imposing vaccine mandates as more government and corporate employers begin to announce such policies. But a partner with KPMG Law says businesses should consult a lawyer before taking such a step, because there could be legal implications if a vaccine mandate does not allow exceptions. The survey also found 84 per cent of respondents believe vaccines are crucial to avoiding another lockdown, and that certain places or jobs should require vaccine passports.
TTC Employees And City of Toronto Staff Now Required To Be Vaccinated:
The City of Toronto and the TTC are mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all of their employees by the end of October. Mayor John Tory says that all city staff will be required to provide proof of their vaccination status by September 13. Unvaccinated staff will need to provide proof of first dose no later than September 30 and proof of a second dose by October 30. The TTC says it is joining the city’s initiative.
Centennial College Joins The List of Schools Requiring Vaccination:
Centennial College says that it will soon require proof of vaccination for students, employees, visitors, and contractors before they enter their campuses. The Toronto-area school says that those who do not submit proof of vaccination will be required to participate in regular testing facilitated by the college.
In step with other postsecondary institutions, Centennial will be launching an Immunization Policy & Procedures that will require proof of vaccination for students, employees, visitors, & contractors in order to have access to the College’s locations 1/2 pic.twitter.com/nkd4S0TZWu
— Centennial College (@CentennialEDU) August 19, 2021
Australia Lockdown Extended:
A lockdown in Australia’s largest city has been extended through next month. Tougher measures to curb the COVID-19 delta variant have been imposed, including a curfew and a mask mandate outdoors. New South Wales state, which includes Sydney, reported 642 locally acquired infections, the fourth straight day exceeding 600. Sydney has been locked down since late June after the more contagious delta variant was detected in a limousine driver who became infected while transporting a U-S cargo aircrew from the airport.
There were 531 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and 17 deaths from the virus. Fifteen of those deaths occurred months ago and the province says they are now being reported after a data cleanup. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 456 of the new cases are in unvaccinated people or those with unknown vaccination status. 75 of the infected people are fully vaccinated.
In Ontario, 20,341,063 vaccine doses have been administered. 81.8% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 74.2% have two doses.
176 people are hospitalized (excl. ICU) with #COVID19. 163 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 13 are fully vaccinated.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) August 19, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health announced 20 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. Active cases were up by 1 to 134. Hospitalizations were up by 1 to 17.
In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph there were 12-more cases confirmed yesterday. Active cases increased to 41, which is a jump of 9. Hospitalized patients are back down to just 1.
Let’s give a round of applause to our #Youth! 👏 75% of #WatReg Youth have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine! Thanks to everyone who rolled up their sleeve in time for heading #BackToSchool🎉
If you still need a vaccine visit https://t.co/4XJWckA1Ab for all the info. pic.twitter.com/tn5tlyHxwH
— Region of Waterloo (@RegionWaterloo) August 19, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Ontario Legislature via YouTube screenshot