Island restaurants targeted with fake lawsuit letters, phony orders from those against B.C. vaccine card

Island restaurants targeted with fake lawsuit letters, phony orders from those against B.C. vaccine card
A bartender pours a drink at Bard and Banker Pub in Victoria, B.C.

Multiple restaurants on Vancouver Island are being targeted with fake letters from people unhappy about the B.C. vaccine card threatening to sue, says an industry expert.

The B.C. vaccine card kicked in Monday meaning people will need to show proof of vaccination to get into events as well as certain businesses and services including indoor concerts, nightclubs, casinos, movie theatres, and gyms.

Although people won’t have to show their vaccine cards at fast-food restaurants, they will be required in order to enter establishments that offer table dine-in services such as pubs and restaurants.

However, not everyone is thrilled about the requirement and according to Ian Tostenson, the president of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, a number of restaurants on Vancouver Island have received fake letters from people threatening to sue them.

“There are people trying to game the system here, phone your restaurant, order food, don’t pay for it, sending out letters saying, you know, you’re gonna be sued by the Canadian union, alliance of Canada, whatever,” said Tostenson.

“It’s all phony. The best way to counter that is to go to your favourite restaurant and show your support. Those protest things aren’t going to last very long. We simply won’t take orders over the phone, like there’s a whole bunch of ways we can do this.”

He also said other restaurants have been warned that people may place fake orders with them. This includes indoor sporting events, indoor concerts, nightclubs, casinos, movie theatres and gyms.

Tostenson said it’s unfortunate the hospitality industry has to deal with that kind of behaviour, but he’s optimistic most people support the new vaccine card and expects it to go smoothly.

“I think the biggest issue are people that want to use this for other reasons, people that are going to take out their frustrations or their you know, constitutional violation problems on us. And we’re trying to head that off,” he said.

The new vaccine card won’t be required at grocery and liquor stores, pharmacies, fast food restaurants, salons, hotels, banks, retail stores, food banks and shelters.

The province says the system is in place until Jan. 31, 2022, and could be extended.



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