Businesses across B.C. are pledging to not enforce the upcoming vaccine passport policy which comes into effect Sept. 13, with many rallying around a Facebook page called ‘B.C. Businesses against Health Pass.’
The vaccine passport will require individuals to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.
Essential services, such as grocery stores and hospitals, will not be a part of the mandate. The Facebook group, which has amassed almost 100,000 members, has allowed businesses to put their names on a directory if they will not be enforcing the vaccine passport.
Jason Hardy, owner of Alley Cat, is one business owner in Golden who has added himself to the directory.
Hardy says that for him, taking a stand against the passport is about bringing people together.
“We think it’s a great thing to get behind, because we think it can bring together vaccinated and unvaccinated people to all realize that we don’t want medical tyranny, that this has gone way, way, way too far,” said Hardy.
“But it is the first beginning phase of starting to say if people want to come into this town and not be hassled, we’re a business that would be accommodating to your freedom to you as an adult.”
Hardy says he knows that there is a risk to his business being fined, but that he wants to take a stand.
“And we hope by us taking a stand, that even though we may risk our business that we will at least share with others in this trying time for them and ourselves, that they can say, hey, somebody actually tried,” said Hardy.
“If the government wants to bring the fight to the businesses, we will fight back. And we’re starting just now.”
It remains unclear how the province will be enforcing the vaccine certificate mandate.
Last week, Premier John Horgan suggested that police will play a role. More details, including how people can access their vaccine passport, is expected to be released closer to Sept. 13.
Other businesses appearing on the directory include Knight Rider Industries, Inspired Living Health, Alakoa Hollistic Healing, Eat Pure Mountain Market and Gichii Goomii Hemp.
In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases have been yet again rising in the province, fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
As of Aug. 30, Interior Health had a recorded 2,424 number of active infections.