The national union representing RCMP officers says it's concerned about recent statements by British Columbia's premier regarding police enforcement of the province's COVID-19 vaccine card system set to take effect Sept. 13.
In response to B.C. businesses expressing concern for staff who may encounter would-be patrons who refuse to show the requisite proof of immunization, Premier John Horgan said recently they could call law enforcement to handle the situation.
But Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation, says Mounties in B.C. are being called on to do more and more, and they cannot continue to effectively respond to rising calls without additional officers, resources and funding.
He says in a statement that more than 650 members of the provincial RCMP have been deployed in response to wildfires, pulling them away from day-to-day roles.
Sauvé says others have been involved in the ongoing enforcement of a court injunction against old-growth logging protests on southern Vancouver Island.
The provincial government could not immediately be reached for comment.
The province's COVID-19 vaccine card program is set to launch in two weeks, starting with proof of at least one dose by Sept. 13 and two doses by Oct. 24 in order for people to access a range of indoor social and recreational events.
Sauvé said it's "critically important that government properly fund both local and provincial policing to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of British Columbians."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2021.
The Canadian Press