B.C. vaccine cards have public support but could face legal challenges

WatchWATCH: B.C. to require ‘vaccine card’ for sporting events, indoor concerts and other activities

The masks are routine for the Bard and Banker’s staff, and vaccine passports are coming.

But the Victoria Pub Company, which owns the well-known establishment and several other restaurants in Greater Victoria, is going a step further.

Dylan Hagreen, operations manager, said management told staff last week about the decision.

“We asked our staff last week, we let them we’d be asking them to fully vaccinated in the coming weeks. That coupled with the passport, and now the mask mandate, anything that can help us stay open, we’re supportive of.”

On Monday, B.C. mandated vaccine cards — also called passports — at indoor events for people aged 12 and up. B.C. is following other jurisdictions across Canada.

Manitoba launched its new mobile app earlier this month that shows the individual’s first and last name, along with a QR code, and scanning will confirm that the person is fully vaccinated.

B.C. is not allowing any exemptions, including for those who with medical exemptions.

That’s a problem, according to Meghan McDermott, a lawyer with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

“That’s a core human right that people cannot be discriminated against for their health status,” she said.

But Barry Penner, the former B.C. Attorney General, says not so fast.

“Roadblocks to check for impaired drivers clearly infringe on your mobility rights.”

Penner says the Supreme Court of Canada upholds restrictions on Canadians mobility rights to reduce the impact to society of drunk drivers.

And with a mounting death rate from COVID-19 across the province, it’s a reasonable limit.

“In British Columbia, more than 1,801 have now died of COVID-19 in 17 months. That’s a pretty compelling rationale for the government to impose certain restrictions,” Penner said.

The first stage of B.C.’s vaccine cards come into effect on Sept. 13.

WATCH: B.C. to require ‘vaccine card’ for sporting events, indoor concerts and other activities


Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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