The B.C. provincial government recently unveiled its latest plan to handle rising COVID-19 cases and plateauing vaccinations; a vaccine certificate.
That is all well and good, in theory, for a way to give the majority of people a path back to more normal life. Close to 80 per cent of residents in Terrace are vaccinated with at least one dose.
Based on recent data the majority of those getting ill and ending up in hospital are unvaccinated. Dr. Bonnie Henry says 90 per cent of new cases occur among those who are unvaccinated. If the province’s plan is to encourage more people to get vaccinated, that shows promising signs. Vaccination bookings tripled the day after the province announced the proof of vaccination system.
If it is to give businesses and people who have already been vaccinated a pathway back to normalcy, it needs more work.
The largest issue, perhaps, is that the government has introduced this system and its new requirements, but pushed the first line of defence on private businesses.
The business community was already fraught with stories of horrible behaviour and abuse directed at employees from customers, over mask requirements.
Premier Horgan has stated businesses should call the RCMP if people refuse to share their vaccination records. Yet once the RCMP are called to a scene, what authority do they have? What crimes are people committing? That is something woefully opaque.
Other provinces have had similar ideas — Quebec in particular. However, that province not only implemented the requirement but attached violations to existing laws and punishments.
Because it is a government-issued piece of identification, attempting to circumvent carries criminal charges. This move takes it out of the hands of the businesses and lets police and the government take responsibility for their rules.
If the B.C. government wants its own plan to work, it needs to give the rules teeth. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time for businesses and the RCMP.