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Erin pub closes for indoor dining as townships grapple with proof of vaccination enforcement

An owner of the Busholme pub in Erin said they aren't anti-vax but don't agree with putting their staff in the position of asking for personal information
The Busholme restaurant will be closing its indoor dining as the owners have taken issue with the province's proof of vaccination policy.

ERIN – As the province’s proof of vaccination policy comes into effect, security guards may be more commonly seen at some facilities. 

Wednesday marked the first day where Ontarians are required to show their second dose vaccine receipt and photo ID at what have been deemed high-risk businesses such as gyms and indoor dining restaurants. 

There won’t be guards at the Busholme pub in Erin, in fact the restaurant announced on Facebook indoor dining will be closed starting the same day the policy began. 

Owner Nicolle Magill clarified in a phone interview they aren’t anti-vax, but they simply don’t agree they should be asking people for this personal information or putting their staff in that position.

“My 17-year-old host shouldn’t have to put up with asking people. We get people mad at us all the time about wearing masks or where they’re seated or last call times,” Magill said. 

She said it is an unfair burden to put onto small businesses particularly after the difficulties faced over the course of the pandemic. She said she has the support from all her staff who agree this is what is best for the crew. 

“We deal with a lot of stuff, so this is just one more thing that we feel we can make the choice not to deal with it,” Magill said. 

The Busholme does have a lot of outdoor space and Magill said they’ve purchased more heaters and tents to accommodate outdoor dining. 

Meanwhile, township recreation and community facilities fall under this provincial policy as well and some are hiring outside help to take the burden off their staff. 

Mapleton CAO Manny Baron confirmed they have hired a third-party security company to enforce this mandate at the PMD Arena in Drayton. 

“We won’t put our staff or volunteers in harm’s way, there’s already been calls in other municipalities to the OPP, with regards to upset citizens,” Baron said. 

“We have to make sure we protect our staff and our volunteers so we wouldn’t ask them to put themselves in that position.”

For other Mapleton community centres that rely on rentals, Baron said they’ve stipulated in rental agreements that the renter is responsible for ensuring those entering events are fully vaccinated. 

In Wellington North, CAO Michael Givens said they also hired outside security and this includes during rentals.

“We have to maintain a relationship with all of our residents, including the renters and we felt it appropriate to utilize a third party service knowing this issue may be stressful and combative,” Givens said. “We felt that was the most appropriate step.”

Minto CAO Derrick Thomson confirmed they will have security at the Harriston and Palmerston arenas for this purpose. 

Kendra Martin, spokesperson for the Township of Centre Wellington, said they’re hiring security for the CW Sportsplex and Elora Community Centre to manage this at the front doors. 

Martin said staff will likely manage it at the Victoria Park Seniors’ Centre and the Fergus Grand Theatre is under consideration for security when both facilities open. 

When it comes to those under 18 involved with sports, Martin suggested people should check with the sport’s organizing body on their rules or when any mandates come into effect. 

Baron stressed municipalities are simply following the policy laid out by the province and are obligated to enforce them. 

“They’re not our rules, we’re just following provincial rules so if you’ve got to get mad at anybody, don’t get mad at us,” Baron said. 


Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for Elora, Fergus and rural Centre Wellington.
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