Campbell River city council was asked to stop proof of vaccination checks at city facilities by a delegation against vaccine mandates and passports.
Resident Christian McCay provided a five-minute presentation at the start of the Nov. 1 city council meeting, as the representative of a group of citizens. City council previously voted to hear from the delegation during its Oct. 4 meeting.
McCay said he was speaking on behalf of both people who have decided not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and those who have been vaccinated but disagree with the unvaccinated “losing their rights.”
“Many local taxpayers are now excluded from some aspects of life that others can enjoy right here in Campbell River,” he said. “It is fair to say that until we know without a doubt the benefits of getting the vaccine outweighs the risk, people should have their freedom and not be coerced into getting the vaccine.”
McCay said he and other members of the delegation are not ‘anti-vaxxers’ but rather are against “forcing the vaccine on the entire population through coercion and manipulation tactics.”
He requested city council reconsider the $125,000 it accepted from the provincial government to fund checking the vaccination status of visitors to its recreation facilities, return any remaining funds and relieve staff hired to conduct these checks.
In response, Mayor Andy Adams said that the matter falls outside the city’s jurisdiction and that city council fully supports provincial and federal health and safety measures, including the BC Vaccine Card program.
Adams said that while Campbell River city council recognizes the pandemic has taken a toll on mental and physical health and social and economic well being, it does not want to detract from the seriousness of COVID-19 or the work of those providing care.
“That’s why in the interest of public safety, as required by law, the City of Campbell River has consistently followed and will continue to follow the public health orders and direction — and we urge everyone to continue following all public health orders, directions and guidelines,” he said.