Kelowna Chamber hopes vaccine passport system will not be extended beyond June

Card extension no surprise

Victoria Femia

The executive director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce says he's not surprised B.C. has extended its vaccine passport system to the end of June.

“Right now people are accustomed to using the passport and the positive aspect is at least the province is communicating well in advance of the end of this month, so that businesses know what the future will unfold,” Dan Rogers told Wednesday.

“And fingers crossed it won’t be extended past that.”

Rogers said the pandemic continues to impact tourism in the Interior, however, he’s hopeful it won’t have a greater impact on the industry into the warmer months.

“Fortunately our weather is so good at that time of year, there’s lots of activities that will occur outside, so there will be a bit of a shift of what occurs inside versus outside," he said.

“I think overall we’ll see good news come summer time for our tourism sector.”

Leader of the BC Libertarian Party Keith MacIntyre joined a protest outside the Castanet office in Kelowna Wednesday, protesting the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and media coverage of the pandemic.

MacIntyre shared his disapproval of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s decision to extend the vaccine card system, calling the decision "mind boggling."

“Coercing people into getting a medical treatment is illegal and therefore the vaccine mandates are illegal,” said MacIntyre.

MacIntyre added that vaccine passports are tough on businesses, and claimed businesses are “tired” of checking them.

“They don’t want to be checking people’s medical information, they’re not government enforcers, they don’t want to be doing this, so I’m encouraging businesses to just stop,” said MacIntyre.

On Wednesday, the B.C. announced 21 more COVID-positive people died in the past 24 hours alongside 2,086 new COVID-19 cases.

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