On day of vaccine passport rollout, RCMP say they have the backs of Kelowna businesses

Police backing businesses

On launch day for the vaccine passport system, the Kelowna RCMP is telling local business owners they have their backs.

During an end-of-summer news conference on Monday morning, commanding officer of the Central Okanagan RCMP Supt. Kara Triance said business owners have the right to operate without threat from belligerent patrons.

“This has been an economically tough time for all Canadians who have their own businesses when it comes to the COVID pandemic,” Triance said.

“And what I really want to say about our approach going forward is that we will be ensuring safety for everyone in businesses, ensuring that patrons… who want to lawfully access a premise and access services that they are vaccinated in complying with public health orders, that they have a safe space.”

Starting Monday, anyone accessing a variety of non-essential businesses will need to provide proof of vaccination.

Triance says police have learned of planned scams where people may place fake take-out orders at restaurants in an attempt to punish them for complying with the vaccine passport system. She said stunts like this “are not tolerable.”

“The public test of tolerance for this at this point is very low,” Triance added. “We need to get this pandemic behind us.”

She said Kelowna RCMP officers have already been responding to “a lot” of calls related to public health orders and protests.

“So I'm not anticipating a severe spike in calls, however we will be monitoring this week by week,” Triance said.

More Kelowna News