Fake medical exemption cards surfacing across Canada

A video surfaces online appearing to show a woman allegedly using a fake mask exemption medical card to avoid wearing a mask while shopping in Winnipeg. The province confirms these are fake because they don’t exist in Manitoba.

By Alex Karpa and CityNews Staff

WINNIPEG (CityNews) – With mandatory masks in place across Canada, reports are surfacing of people attempting to bend the rules.

Fake face mask exemption medical cards are being sold online, claiming to exempt people from the rule.

A video has been showing up on social media appearing to show a Winnipeg woman, documenting her experience using one of these cards.

SOCIAL MEDIA POST: “Just leaving Walmart, got my stuff, got my medical exemption card. I was asked twice and specifically pointed to my badge and said I have my medical exemption. Everyone left and said thank you, sorry about that. Stand up people, now’s the time.”

The woman in the video goes on to allege that she got her fake card from a website for $10. CityNews went on the website to check it out.

The product images have both U.S. and Canadian flags and reads in all caps, “FACE MASK MEDICAL EXEMPTION CARD.” Just below that, it reads, “I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask or face covering.”

CityNews reached out to the woman that posted the video on social media to comment, but have not heard back in time for this story, and cannot confirm whether she has a valid medical condition or not.

However, CityNews did hear from the Canadian Human Rights Commission to clarify the status of these cards. A statement reads:

“These cards are fake. The Commission has not and would not produce cards claiming that the cardholder has an exemption from wearing a face mask in closed public places. We strongly recommend to Canadians that they do not share or use these fraudulent cards. Being required to wear a mask does not violate your human rights when public health is at stake.”

Doctors Manitoba also echoing those sentiments saying:

“The reasons for medical exemption are very narrow, and only an appropriate medical specialist can provide an exemption. Family physicians cannot. Depending on the medical issue, the individual would have to be referred to and assessed by a relevant specialist and that specialist then communicates the exemption to the province.”

The government of Manitoba says they are developing a way to ensure individuals with valid medical exemptions are able to access the same benefits as those with immunization cards. A statement reads:

“If someone is showing up to a business today with a ‘medical exemption’ from Manitoba, it is fake because they don’t exist yet.”

Winnipegger Don Barnard is autistic and is exempt from wearing a mask due to his medical condition. He says the use of fake medical mask cards is insulting to those who have legitimate medical conditions.

“There has been a failure by the government to clarify this to people because people don’t realize that there are people who are legitimately exempt,” said Barnard. “It’s horrifying that somebody is offering to sell these or give these to people for exploitation purposes but it’s only happening because of the government.”

The social media post took place at a Walmart in Winnipeg. CityNews also reached out to Walmart Canada who say they are looking into the matter.

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