Arrests will be made if people insist on ‘flaunting the current health directions’ regarding COVID-19 restrictions, the city’s chief constable has declared.
Donovan Fisher said Monday that, although they respect everyone’s right to choose, people who ignore the requirements for businesses to check for vaccinations will be arrested.
“For those of you who plan on making your point through bullying, coercion and intimidation, you will be arrested,” he said in a statement Monday morning, on the day the vaccination passport restrictions kicked in.
“For those who decide to participate in the planned 'order and not pick up' take out, you will be investigated and charged with fraud. Your rights don't outweigh the rights of your other community members.”
The statements come right after consecutive months of the Nelson Police Department upholding freedom of speech and individual rights to protest.
Police attended and supervised a weekend protest outside the Nelson Provincial Court House on Saturday that drew hundreds of people, the latest protest delivered in a vocal but peaceful fashion.
“When those actions start to interfere with other people's rights, the police can no longer work with or support these persons or organizations,” said Fisher.
He said the police will be siding with the businesses who are inspecting for the required vaccination documentation if there are planned protests and disruptions to businesses and, in particular, restaurants.
The fact that these businesses are individuals that are simply adhering to the requirements imposed on them should be respected, Fisher pointed out, since the businesses support many individuals, families and groups in the community.
“They have already suffered many setbacks and hardships due to COVID-19,” he said, “please don't make the situation worse for your fellow community members.”
In order to prevent the bogus calls for take-out, Fisher said businesses can phone the customer’s call back number to confirm the legitimacy, and/or get credit cards or other payment methods over the phone prior to processing orders.
“(We) request that legitimate customers be understanding of these requests from businesses that need to protect themselves,” he said.
Pick a poke
The restrictions beginning today — nullified by a vaccine passport — are for those who do not have both or only one of the vaccines recommended.
If people haven’t been vaccinated yet, or if it’s been more than 28 days since your first needle, they can visit a drop-in clinic and get protected from COVID-19.
Ongoing clinics in the region can be found at:
In Nelson, people can go to Selkirk College (drop-in clinic) from Sept. 14-23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or to the Nelson Health Unit (drop-in clinic), Monday and Wednesday from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting Sept. 6.
In Castlegar, there are three options for needles, at Selkirk College (drop-in clinic), Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — closed from 12 to 1 — at Selkirk College’s “The Pit” (drop-in clinic) Sept. 15, 1-4 p.m. and Sept. 22, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As well, the Castlegar Health Centre (second floor) will be hosting a drop-in clinic Monday and Friday, Sept. 13 to Oct. 29, 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed 12- 1 p.m.
In Trail people can attend a drop-in clinic at Waneta Plaza, Sunday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed 12-1 p.m.).
Kaslo will host a drop-in clinic at the Victorian Community Health Centre of Kaslo on Tuesday, 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Salmo will hold a drop-in clinic at the Salmo Health and Wellness Clinic every second Wednesday 1-4 p.m. and Nakusp will stage a drop-in clinic at Arrow Lakes Hospital Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At an event
• Subject to a $575 violation ticket if you: Attend a non-compliant event or encourage other people to attend a non-compliant event.
• Subject to a $230 violation ticket if you: Refuse to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave or disperse from the event or engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour in relation to the order.
• Subject to a $230 violation ticket if you: Fail to comply with an event condition such as dancing or congregating with others.
At a restaurant or bar
• Subject to a $230 violation ticket if you: Engage in abusive behaviour towards a restaurant or bar employee in relation to the PHO orders or fail to comply with the patron conditions set out in the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order.
• Violation tickets of $2,300 can be issued to owners, operators and event organizers who host a non-compliant event.
Source: Provincial Health Officer
Handing out tickets
Violation tickets can be issued by: police officers; community safety unit; liquor and cannabis inspectors; gaming investigators and conservation officers.
If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, or in cases of particularly egregious contraventions or for repeat offenders, police can recommend charges in relation to the offence.
On conviction, judicial penalties of up to $10,000 and/or one year in prison may be imposed.
Individuals and businesses who fail to comply with PHO orders can also be ticketed, and penalties may include revoking business or liquor licenses where issues occur.
People have 30 days from the date the ticket was issued to either pay or dispute the ticket.
• ICBC sends unpaid files directly to collections as soon as the initial 30-day payment or dispute period ends, or an offender is found guilty in court.
Source: Provincial Health Officer
Register with the Get Vaccinated system
People are able to register at the Get Vaccinated system at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
People will not be asked for a social insurance number, driver's licence number or banking and credit card details.
The quickest option will be to register online, but will need to provide first and last name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and an email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages.
People can register by phone or at a Service BC office.
Register even if you have already received needle one in another location. All information will be kept private and will never be shared with other agencies or parts of government.
Source: Province of BC
What to expect at the vaccine clinic
People need to review information on COVID-19 vaccine safety from HealthlinkBC before a clinic visit. The session at the clinic is expected to last 30 to 60 minutes in total.
• No need to fast. Be sure to drink water;
• Bring your booking confirmation and photo ID;
• Wear a short-sleeved shirt and a mask. You will be provided a mask if you need one;
• Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment time; and
• You can bring one person with you for support. All clinics are wheelchair accessible.
During the appointment information:
At the clinic you will:
• Check-in with your photo ID and booking confirmation. For modesty, you can ask for a private location to get your shot;
• Get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine dose. A choice will not be offered;
• If it's your second dose, the clinic will try to match you with the same vaccine; and
• Wait in an observation area after your shot for about 15 minutes.
Note: After an appointment, review COVID-19 Vaccination Aftercare (PDF, 953KB) from the BCCDC.
Source: Province of BC
Second time is the charm
Around 28 days after the first needle, an invitation by text, email or phone will be made to book a second needle appointment.
Similar to the first appointment, a location, date and time will be given.