RCMP Cruiser (stock photo)
The announcement of a ‘vaccine card’ being introduced in B.C. next month has raised strong, opposing opinions. While some are for it, it seems others are against it.
But now, following a recent statement from Premier John Horgan, National Police Federation (NPF) President Brian Sauvé is voicing his concerns about its enforcement.
At a press conference this past Friday, Horgan said businesses faced with conflict in regards to proof-of-vaccination should handle it just how they would any other confrontation.
“If they have difficulty with patrons, they call law enforcement,” Horgan said. “And that’s what I would expect would happen with respect to the vaccination card as well.”
While Sauvé says the RCMP will continue responding to calls, he finds members are being asked to do more and more, all the while facing a lack of additional resources and funding.
“And now the Premier wants our already over-stretched members to respond to vaccine passport disputes at restaurants, movie theatres, and sporting events,” he notes.
Sauvé continues, “Put quite simply, the existing BC membership cannot continue to effectively respond to an increasing number of calls and deployments without additional officers and resources.”
Come Sept. 2nd, Sauvé says the NPF will be calling on the Province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services for increased long-term funding for RCMP service. He says proper funding for both local and provincial policing is “critically important.”
Then, less than two weeks later, starting Sept. 13th eligible people 12 and older will need proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend social and recreational settings and events, including restaurants, casinos, and fitness centres. By Oct. 24th, B.C.’ers will need proof of both doses.
Last week, My Campbell River Now spoke with a local restaurant owner who said she won’t enforce the ‘vaccine card’ at her business. Others have also come together to launch the Facebook group, Van Island Businesses Against Health Pass. As of this afternoon, it has over 7,000 members.
However, according to the Ministry of Health, people and businesses not following the ‘vaccine card’ requirement could face hefty fines or possible closure.
Premier Horgan said proof-of-vaccination is actually something brought forward at the request of local Chamber of Commerce groups, the business community, and the hospitality sector. “This is a tool that they wanted at their disposal so they can demonstrate to their patrons that everyone in their establishment had done everything they could to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” he added.