According to Canadian human rights watchdog, no person should use fake cards to claim grant medical exemptions from wearing face masks in public. Plastic “face mask medical exemption” cards are being produced by Anti-lockdown groups that oppose new mandatory mask bylaws to avoid wearing a mask in closed public spaces. They may appear to some as if a public health agency has approved them, but the cards are fraudulent. This is the message that appears in the card, “I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask or face covering.”
The cards are, in most cases related to official medical documents and also feature a medical care seal and other symbols.
There is a claim that violations of disability rights can be reported to that number and a phone number for the Canadian Human Rights Commission appearing on the back of the cards. They stated that these cards are fake” and in no way authorized by the organization. The commission spokesperson said Tuesday that they have not and would not produce posters or cards claiming that the cardholder has an exemption from wearing a face mask in closed public places. He said that they also strongly recommend to Canadians that they do not share or use these fraudulent cards.
Those behind the cards are a collective of anti-lockdown groups that have been organizing in and around Toronto. A representative of a group called The Line Canada, Tony Anderson, stated that they were created as an educational tool to inform business owners and their staff about exemptions to the face mask bylaw. Anderson stated that they received a lot of emails requesting them to educate people about the rules and regulations behind these bylaws. He confirmed that they made the cards because there are older adults and others who can’t speak English, and can’t articulate the exemption rule to the staff and security at the front of these stores. However, various groups have been collecting funds in the form of donations by selling the cards online. On Monday alone, one group claimed to have mailed out more than 2,000 cards.
Since July 7, it has been mandatory in Toronto to wear face masks in all indoor public spaces. There are exemptions for people with an underlying medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask and children under the age of two and anyone. A similar rule exempting those with medical reasons not to wear masks and not requiring them to prove it goes into force across Quebec on Saturday. Toronto is far from the only municipality there to enact its own though, Ontario has no province-wide mandate. Dr. Vinita Dubey, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health, indicated that they encourage businesses to be respectful of people who are unable to wear [a mask] due to health, age or other reason.