Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce calls for provincial support with vaccine transition

In an Aug. 27 release, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce called on the provincial government to provide additional support for businesses requiring proof of vaccination status.

317
A nurse delivers a COVID-19 vaccination. Photo: Government of British Columbia

Following the announcement of the B.C. vaccine card, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce is asking the provincial government to provide additional support for transitioning businesses.

On Aug. 23, the Government of British Columbia announced their COVID-19 proof of vaccination program. In an Aug. 27 media release, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce called on the provincial government to provide additional support for businesses requiring vaccination checks.

According to the release, the Chamber of Commerce acknowledges the necessity of the vaccination passport program, stating that it is “part of a larger strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19, not only to address the incredible strains on our healthcare system, but also to avoid a complete shutdown of businesses.”

In the statement, the Chamber repeated its role in sharing new information with members as it unfolds.

“An ideal solution would be one that did not task our front-line workers and businesses with passport screening, but if the B.C. Government is moving forward with this plan, we are advocating for measures to soften the blow,” says Maggie Spizzirri, president of the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce.

The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce made the following requests aimed at easing burdens on affected businesses:

  • Funding for additional staff and security.
  • A streamlined tool or mobile application for screening.
  • Clear information regarding enforcement and program details.
  • A toolkit for clear communication that this is a public health order.
  • An interoperable approach with the federal government to ensure consistency between provinces.
  • A designated B.C. Government point of contact for those who wish to provide feedback on the program.

“COVID-19 numbers are rapidly rising, and we are hopeful that this program can help to keep our businesses operable. Another shut down would be devastating,” states Spizzirri.

B.C. Liberals repeat similar requests for provincial support

As the logistics surrounding proof of vaccination unwind, the provincial opposition party is weighing in.

The B.C. Liberal Caucus released a statement on Aug. 27 addressing concerns around small businesses and vaccine cards. According to the statement, the hospitality and fitness sectors need answers on how the proof of vaccination program will work.

“The confusion from Horgan’s announcement is astounding and we’re seeing the backlash. Who is going to enforce this? Is this government going to provide support to cover the extra costs,” asks Todd Stone, Opposition Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

Despite facing mounting criticism, the province is moving forward with its proof of vaccination program.