Gan Restaurant Closes Meals Indoors Due to Vaccine Law


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A restaurant in Gananoque has closed its indoor dining room rather than applying the provincial government’s vaccine mandate to its customers.

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Ray Stedman, owner of Laverne’s Eatery on King Street across from City Hall, said the restaurant refused to be the government’s watchdog, adding that it was not equipped to handle security.

“We are threatened with fines, closures and threat of revocation of our liquor license if a staff member does not request proof of private medical information that no staff member at that company should ask,” Stedman said in an announcement to Customers.

Stedman added that the restaurant opposes the government by telling it to exclude loyal customers, vaccinated or not, who have chosen not to reveal their private medical information.

“We have been and are, together in this whole, we have worked hard to foster an inclusive environment and believe with all our hearts that social exclusion, stigma and coercion have no place in our lives, no place in our community, ”he says in the customer advisory.

Stedman, who started as the restaurant’s chef eight years ago when he called himself the Socialist Pig, and took over as director this year, praised the restaurant’s patrons who have supported him “for nearly two years of the toughest time to own a business in my 45 years on the job.

During the pandemic, these patrons supported Laverne’s by buying boxed dinners and picnics, buying cookies for car birthdays, or putting a few extra dollars in the tip jar to help keep the restaurant open, a he declared.

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“These are the same people Laverne is supposed to say now, aren’t they the right kind of people to come in?” At Laverne, we won’t do that.

However, the restaurant said it will keep its outdoor patio open and offer take out service.

Under the government’s vaccination mandate that came into effect Wednesday, Ontarians must be fully vaccinated to dine indoors in restaurants and attend gyms, bars, theaters, concerts and sporting events.

The vaccination mandate does not apply to outdoor terraces or take-out services.

“Choosing to honor the mandate by providing patio seating and take out only allows us to treat everyone exactly the same and keeps my staff from dealing with the stress imposed by the Ontario government that small business scapegoats, ”Stedman said.

Stedman added that he does not take a position on the vaccines, neither for nor against, and adds that he himself is fully vaccinated with two doses.

His feud is with the Ontario government, which has forced vaccine enforcement on the backs of small businesses and given them no other options, he said.

In Alberta, for example, companies have had the choice of restricting occupancy and the like, or enforcing vaccine passports, he said.

Laverne’s will follow all COVID protocols and rules for its outdoor and takeout services, as it has done throughout the pandemic, he said.

“We will, of course, continue to perform COVID tracing / registration, supporting appropriate distance, mandatory mask wear and appropriate safety etiquette with your fellow members while in line or on duty,” did he declare.

The restaurant has ordered additional patio heaters and appealed to residents for the loan of any patio heaters they can spare.

“You can bring comfortable blankets and hugs,” he adds.

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