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City budgets $125K for proof of vaccination enforcement at two major facilities

The City of Campbell River is setting a big chunk of money aside to enforce proof of vaccination at two major city facilities.

This coming Monday, Sept. 13th, eligible British Columbians aged 12 and older will need proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend social and recreational settings and events. By Oct. 24th, B.C.’ers need proof of both doses.

With this in mind, the City is actually budgeting $125,000 to set up check booths with security hosts at the entrances of both the Sportsplex in Willowpoint and the downtown Community Centre.

As the City’s fleet and facilities manager, Jason Decksheimer puts it, “Our intent right now is to have a single point of entry for all members of the public attending those two buildings. And it would be essentially a check-in booth.”

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To allow entry, it’s noted the person staffing or managing the booth will be required to check for proof of vaccination in a ‘prescribed format’. If the public cannot provide proof of vaccination, they simply won’t be allowed inside.

Based on current health orders, Decksheimer says this will require up to 170 hours of contracted services per week across the two sites. “It is a fairly big add-on to try and have our staff undertake that,” he says. “At this point, we simply don’t have the required staffing to man those check-in booths.”

And due to the nature of the work and the potential for conflict, the City is looking to utilize trained contracted security hosts or security guards. Decksheimer says staff is currently in the process of engaging in pricing from local security contractors.

While the budget motion was ultimately passed by council this past Tuesday, Sept. 7th, Councillor Kermit Dalh just couldn’t get behind it. With COVID-19 vaccination not currently a condition of employment for staff at either facility, Dahl said, “If we’re going to be asking people to show documentation to prove that they have shots, we’re going to have to be able to prove that we’ve got shots.”

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But Councillor Claire Moglove said the City really doesn’t have a choice.

“While Councillor Dahl brings up an interesting point, the fact of the matter is this is a requirement by the province to do this.”

Molglove noted not enforcing proof of vaccination at city facilities would mean both the Sportsplex and the Community Centre would close altogether. “So this is something we must do,” she added. And Councillor Ron Kerr agreed. “We don’t have much choice in this,” he said.

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