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Oakville town hall one of few needing a double-vaccinated public

One woman outraged she could not enter to pay her taxes
Sept. 28, 2021
Scott Laurie

She just wanted to pay her property taxes in person at Oakville town hall.

But without a vaccine certificate, that was impossible for Karen Goncalves.

“I sort of had a hissy fit and left,” she said of her interaction last Friday. “I was just livid.”

Oakville requires people to show proof of vaccination to enter its town hall and many other buildings.

“To me, government doesn’t fall into that category of a non-essential service.”

Her local councillor -- David Gittings -- sent her an email, saying “the town made the decision that it is better to keep facilities open for all those who are vaccinated than to close our facilities to all, or to risk infection of visitors and staff. Our objective is to have the fastest reopening possible, and to avoid what the province of Alberta is currently experiencing.”

Not all municipalities have the same policy.

Unlike Oakville, Mississauga does not require vaccination in locations like libraries, courthouses or locations where people take advantage of city services like paying tax bills or obtaining building permits.

Mississauga only requires proof of vaccination for indoor services such as city-owned fitness centres, entertainment/cultural venues and sports facilities.

In announcing the policy, Mayor Bonnie Crombie offered assurances the city is taking every possible action to protect the health and safety of Mississauga residents.

“We need to keep our local businesses and indoor services open and safe to avoid another lockdown,” she insisted.

In Pickering, spokesperson Mark Guinto said “as City Hall is considered an essential service, visitors do not have to show vaccine certificates.”

The same holds for Toronto City Hall, where employees have until Oct. 30 to prove they are fully vaccinated.

“As it relates to City Hall and civic centres, the city is reviewing the Ontario legislation requiring the public to provide proof of vaccination to access certain public settings and facilities,” said a City of Toronto spokesperson.

The city also encourages people to use online services as much as possible.

Vaccine certifications became required across Ontario on Sept. 22 for certain indoor settings.