With immunization rates in Greater Victoria among the highest in BC, it's not surprising there has been little outcry for vaccine mandates for local businesses. The Chamber's staff are 100% fully vaccinated and many of our members tell us they have had the same voluntary commitment from their employees.
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist that businesses play a leadership role in their communities and that includes finding ways to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
“I think it’s fair to say that most businesses put the health and safety of their employees as a paramount concern,” he said. “Everybody’s concerned about the economic side, but, realistically, if everybody’s healthy and in a good place so that they can continue to work and things function (that's how we move forward).”
Vaccine mandates are in place for federal workers, and there have been calls to make immunization mandatory for employees of the University of Victoria. And, last week, BC announced all health-care workers in care homes will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said she believes businesses are within their rights to impose vaccine mandates.
“These are business decisions that they need to make in conjunction with their own labour lawyer advisers,” she said. “But I do think it is a perfectly valid thing.”