B.C. premier confident businesses pledging to defy vaccine passport are a minority

Getting B.C. back on track. Premier John Horgan is applauding those making the jump to get the COVID-19 vaccine after the B.C. vaccine card was announced. However, Ashley Burr hears from people who still have concerns as card launch nears.


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Premier John Horgan says he is confident the majority of British Columbians support the recently-announced COVID-19 vaccine passport, despite some business owners saying they have no plan to ask customers to comply.

On Friday, Horgan said the number of people who have already received shots shows that most people in the province are on board.

“This is a majority issue, almost 85 per cent of British Columbians have had a first dose 75 per cent a second dose. Those British Columbians want to know when they go to a hockey game, or the theatre, or out for a dinner, that the people that they’re associating with have taken the same steps to protect themselves and their family,” he said.

“These are issues that are supported overwhelmingly in the community and for those who don’t support them, that’s regrettable.”

B.C.’s proof of vaccination system is set to be introduced on Sept. 13. It will limit which non-essential services, businesses, and events unvaccinated people will be able to go to. The exact details have yet to be announced, but concerns are already being raised that a digital option is not accessible to people without smartphones, and that there are no medical exemptions. Business leaders who support the move have raised concerns about enforcement, worrying about the burden it will put on staff.

Horgan said there are bound to be some issues and challenges with implementation, but the move came at the behest of businesses.

“In my engagements with people, most of them understand that this is uncharted territory — all of it. Every step is a new step for us in dealing with a global pandemic,” He said.

“We’re taking measured steps based on advice from business and if some businesses want to disregard that, then patrons will decide where they want to go. Consumers are supporting this and I think that’s why most businesses are excited about it.”

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Meantime, A Facebook group dedicated to opposing the vaccine passport, saying it is unconstitutional, has grown to more than 80,000 members.

“We believe in medical privacy, and your own personal choice. Our Charter Rights and Freedoms are inalienable, and paramount. Let’s all stand together, and stand for a free Canada and support the businesses that share our values,” the group description reads. Businesses that say they won’t comply with the requirement to get proof of vaccination from customers include diners, gyms, a welding company, a funeral parlour, hairdressers, and dogwalkers.


Demands for COVID-19 vaccine spikes after ‘passport’ announced

Horgan also noted a spike in people showing up to get the shot since the proof of vaccination requirement was announced.

“If people are rushing to get vaccines to meet the needs of the vaccine card I think that’s good news,” he said, adding he doesn’t think the province should have made the move sooner.

“I think the timing is about right, quite frankly. I don’t think we should have been more aggressive or less aggressive.”

Overall, Horgan touted B.C.’s vacine rollout as a success and characterized the vaccine requirement as the “last push”

The vast majority of British Columbians have been on board here, to work together collaboratively so we can collectively get out of this. We made vaccines available, people registered, people waited their turn,” he said.

“Other jurisdictions have had have and promised chances for new cars. I think British Columbians have been on this program from the beginning, that’s why we have such an extraordinary uptake on the vaccines.”

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