A group in Campbell River says they’re standing up for “freedom.” But the organizers say they aren’t anti-vaccination, they’re anti-vaccine passport.
With signs in hand, the group behind ‘No Vaxx Passport Campbell River’ once again met at downtown’s Spirit Square on Monday afternoon (Sept. 13th) before marching to City Hall, with a final stop back to the Square.
“We don’t like the mandate, we don’t like the segregation, we don’t like to be bullied,” Sue Beckman told My Campbell River Now.
Back to Sept. 1st, an even larger crowd gathered at the Square protesting the vaccine card mandate. At the time, Beckman addressed the crowd of over 300 people and said, “we just need to stand up and say no.”
READ MORE: Anti-vaccine card rally draws large crowd in downtown Campbell River
Meanwhile, Lori Woodruff finds proof of vaccination to be “a clear problem.” According to Woodruff, “there are many that can’t go to restaurants, there are many people that can’t take their children swimming.”
She says the group’s goal is to bridge the divide between what she’s calling two sides – the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
“There are many of us that are vaccinated, many that aren’t. We do have people that come with masks and that don’t come with masks.”
And while hospitals across the country braced for demonstrations outside their facilities on Monday as well, Woodruff says this group won’t be doing that. “That’s not our intention,” she explains.
The protests took place the same day B.C.’s vaccine card mandate came into play. Proof of at least partial vaccination is required at restaurants, fitness centres, movie theatres, and other gatherings.
But Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry says it’s another tool that will allow businesses to stay open while keeping people safe from COVID-19. “Ultimately the choice is yours about whether you choose to be vaccinated or not, but what we need to do is make sure that we can continue to keep things open as much as possible, and that’s what the vaccine card is all about,” added Henry.
By Oct. 24th, B.C.’ers will require proof of full vaccination. According to Dr. Henry, the requirement will actually make communities safer, ensuring events and gatherings are safer as well.