A letter to council from a Pemberton local about vaccine passports sparked a discussion at the council table at the Aug. 31 meeting.
The letter from Graham Camm urged council “to speak out and 100 per cent denounce any and all forms of segregationist vaccine passports in any part of Pemberton.
“If nothing is done about this, I will personally be filing human rights violations against any business and individual who violates my human rights to privacy and to be free from discrimination.”
While Councillor Ted Craddock moved to receive and file the letter with no discussion, Coun. Leah Noble thought the letter was worth discussing among the councillors.
“There’s a lot of people who have come to me in the community with concerns about it. And there’s a lot of people with valid reasons that have not yet been vaccinated,” said Noble. “And they’ve been in the lockdown, right alongside all of us, masking up, and it doesn’t really seem very nice to not allow them to participate in anything fun, especially in view of the fact that people who are vaccinated are still catching it and passing it along.”
However, Coun. Amica Antonelli said she believes it is not the role of the Village to “influence the public health office,” which was a sentiment that Craddock agreed with.
“We could say whatever we want, every one of us is going to have a different decision on how we’re going to deal with this,” said Craddock. “But on this type of thing, I look to the people that are scientists and doctors and professionals in the provincial government to make the legislation accordingly, so I think that’s the best way to leave it.”
While Mayor Richman acknowledged the concerns of the people, and admitted that this is “an uncomfortable conversation,” with the “potential of dividing society down new lines,” he agreed with Antonelli that not enough is currently known on how the vaccine passport roll out will work to speak out against it on behalf of the town.
“We are here to represent the people and I don’t know how we can gauge our community sentiment on this,” said Richman. “There are some very upset people that are very vocal about it—I hear them, but I don’t know how I could confidently say, ‘I represent the Village of Pemberton and this is how the Village of Pemberton feels on this matter, and therefore…’”
Richman urged any citizens with concerns on this topic to direct their comments straight to the provincial health authorities for the time being until more is known on the roll-out of vaccines cards.