Sunnyside Cafe owners vow to resist enforcement of vaccine cards


The lineup is constant at the Sunnyside Cafe.

Locals swear by its brunch and lunch.

“It’s a great place to have a birthday mimosa and a nice breakfast here.”

The popular eatery has survived through rounds of different restrictions and measures put in place during COVID.

However the latest is an order this business can’t get behind, says owner Brendan Marshall.

“We feel it is a lot to ask people’s personal health status. Number two, we also feel that it’s going to be difficult for staff to confront people who may not be able to provide that information.”

Marshall and his wife, Stephanie Herring, joined a Facebook group, Van Island Businesses Against Health Pass.

It was created after news of B.C.’s vaccination cards on Monday.

With close to two thousand members, they feel the public is behind them.

“We’ve talked to a lot of people in this industry, and people feel the same way,” Herring said.

This customer came down to the cafe just to show his support.

“I just saw the post on Facebook today. So I decided to come here and have breakfast, and kind of support them. ”

As of Sept. 13, non-essential businesses such as restaurants like the Sunnyside Cafe will be required to ask customers to show their B.C. vaccine cards before they’re served.

Customers finishing their meals say they’ll avoid businesses that require them to hand over their vaccination status.

“I think it’s great. I think it’s fantastic.  I don’t feel comfortable with businesses prying into people’s personal, medical status.”

” I think it’s really inappropriate. And I support them completely.”

Dr. Mike Benusic, Island Health’s medical health officer for Central Vancouver Island, said the health authority will with businesses to ensure they’re in compliance.

“We will work with our partners as needed to make it work.”

According to the Ministry of Health, individuals and businesses not in compliance face fines of up to $2,300 or possible closure.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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