RCMP union concerned about enforcing B.C.'s proof of vaccination policy

VANCOUVER — The president of the union representing RCMP members is worried that B.C. police lack the resources and funding to properly enforce the province’s incoming proof of vaccination policy

Brian Sauvé of the National Police Federation was responding to Premier John Horgan’s recent statement that businesses who have difficulty with customers related to B.C. vaccine cards should call police.

Starting Sept. 13, British Columbians 12 years and older will need to provide proof of at least one dose of vaccine to enter non-essential businesses and events — such as sporting events, nightclubs, restaurants and movies — and by Oct. 24, only fully vaccinated people will be permitted entry.

Sauvé says there aren’t enough police officers in B.C. to meet province’s increasing needs and demands.

“While our members will, as always, professionally respond to businesses and individuals in need of police support, they are being called on to do more and more with no additional resources or funding,” said Sauvé, noting that 650 B.C. Mounties have been deployed away from their detachments to help with the wildfire response while even more members have been called to enforce the logging protest injunctions at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island.

“And now the premier wants our already over-stretched members to respond to vaccine passport disputes at restaurants, movie theatres and sporting events.”

In a statement, Sauvé called on the province to increase funding for both local and provincial policing.

He said the police union will be presenting a pre-budget submission to the province on Sept. 2 that will call for increased long-term funding for RCMP services including integrated teams such as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, gang enforcement and emergency response team.

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