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Restaurant in Hope, B.C. has business licence pulled for defying vaccine passport

Click to play video: 'Restaurants facing increased vaccine passport enforcement'
Restaurants facing increased vaccine passport enforcement
The provincial government is stepping up enforcement against businesses intentionally defying the COVID-19 vaccine passport requirements. As Kristen Robinson reports, one restaurant in Hope defying the rules has had its businesses license suspended but is continuing business as usual. – Oct 8, 2021

A British Columbia restaurant that publicly defied the province’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system has lost its business licence for six months.

The District of Hope confirmed that bylaw officers had served the suspension to Rolly’s Restaurant on Thursday for failure to comply with the BC Vaccine Card regulations.

District of Hope Chief Administrative Officer John Fortoloczky said if the restaurant continued to operate it could face a $100 fine for every day it remained open.

Click to play video: 'Hope restaurant soldiers on despite license suspension for defying vaccine card'
Hope restaurant soldiers on despite license suspension for defying vaccine card

That penalty would be independent of any enforcement actions taken by Fraser Health or the provincial government, he said.

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“This should send a message. People are doing the right thing and they’re sick and tired of those who aren’t,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said.

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Farnworth said the restaurant was also having its liquor licence suspended and being given a provincial fine, and will be breaking the law if it stays open.

“If they continue to operate, Fraser Health has the ability to seek an injunction, and at the same time they could also face additional and significantly costly penalties.”

Global News has requested comment from Fraser Health.

Click to play video: 'Confusion reigns over B.C. vaccine card enforcement'
Confusion reigns over B.C. vaccine card enforcement

The order does not appear to have deterred the restaurant, and a person who answered the phone at the restaurant and identified themselves as Marlene said it was “business as usual” at the eatery, because the situation was “just ridiculous” and that the situation was “not about health.”

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Under the BC Vaccine Card regulations, people accessing a variety of non-essential services including pubs and restaurants, indoor sporting events, movies and concerts must show proof of immunization.

Earlier this week, the province said it has issued three fines in the three weeks since the vaccine card took effect, and was prioritizing education over enforcement.

However, businesses that defy the requirements could face fines of up to $2,300 under the Public Health Act.

Farnworth said there were investigations underway into several other businesses that have defied the vaccine card.

As of Thursday, 82.1 per cent of eligible British Columbians had been fully immunized against COVID-19.

Over the past week, just over one-quarter of British Columbians who were not fully vaccinated accounted for seven in 10 COVID-19 cases, while over the past two weeks they represented 78.3 per cent of hospitalizations.

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