A restaurant in Hope that publicly defied the province’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system has lost its business license for six months. Bylaw officers served the suspension to Rolly’s Restaurant yesterday for failure to comply with the B-C Vaccine Card regulations. Hope’s Chief Administrative Officer John Fortoloczky warns that if the restaurant continues to operate it could face a 100-dollar fine every day it remains open, as well as fines from the Provincial Government.
New modelling from an independent group shows children are the new targets of the virus. The modelling shows infections among those under 12 are higher than at any time previous during the pandemic. It estimates at least 20 per cent of youngsters in the province will have had the virus within two years. But the report also says children will benefit if a vaccine is approved for those aged five to 11, and it says the benefit would pass to unvaccinated adults because spread of the virus would be limited even further. Numbers show B-C’s intensive care units remain at near maximum capacity, but the latest model covering the period to October 4th confirms COVID-19 cases stabilized through September due to masking, vaccination and other public health measures.
All-star Montreal Canadiens goalie and B.C. native Carey Price will be out of the team’s lineup for an unspecified time as he voluntarily enters a player assistance program. Canadiens G-M Marc Bergevin says the news about Price comes as a shock because the only challenge thought to be facing the Vezina, Hart and Olympic Gold medal-winning goalie was his recovery from off-season knee surgery. Bergevin became emotional while discussing the situation this morning, only managing to say ‘it’s hard,’ after composing himself. Details about Price haven’t been released but a social media message from his wife, Angela, urges everyone to show up and put their mental health first, noting “Carey’s showing up for himself and our family and making the best possible decision for us.”
Statistics Canada says the number of unemployed Canadians who have been out of work for six months or more remains little changed despite strong job gains last month. The agency says there were 389,000 long-term unemployed in September, more than double pre-pandemic levels. Leah Nord, senior director of workforce strategies with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says more work needs to be done to understand what is holding back those workers and what policies and programs are now needed. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent in September as the economy overall added 157,000 jobs.
A BC Liberal MLA says a lower vaccination rate in his riding reflects the ‘Alberta influence.’ Mike Bernier, who represents the Peace River South riding, says it’s been an uphill climb because of disinformation and misinformation on social media, and because communities in northeast BC and northwest Alberta are connected. He says most of those who haven’t had their COVID-19 shots aren’t anti-vaxxers, but are strong willed and don’t like government intervention. Vaccination rates are as low as 55% in parts of northern BC compared to the province’s overall rate of 82%, and that has the government and Opposition Liberals joining forces to get people vaccinated.