As vaccine passes come into effect across B.C. this week, the District of Kent is moving to adapt.
At the Sept. 8 council meeting, council approved waiving the standard 20 per cent administrative surcharge for recreation program or membership withdrawals at the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre as long as there are public access restrictions due to COVID-19.
Effective Sept. 15, proof of one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required for everyone 12 years and older to access the CRCC for some programs and activities. Two-dose proof will be required effective Oct. 24.
Director of community services and projects Jennifer Thorton told council CRCC staff brainstormed a few ideas to make operations as inclusive as possible, which includes planning outdoor activities and the month-long grace period to allow patrons time to get vaccinated.
Currently, the vaccine card is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2022 but the program could possibly be extended. Vaccine cards can be obtained through www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard, call 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week or visit your local Service B.C. centre.
In other council business, council approved a motion to write a letter of support to remove open-net fish farms in coastal waters along migratory salmon routes. This is in response to a request from the council of Canadians. According to the findings of district staff, open-net fish farms have been a source of controversy along the pacific coast in no small part due to impacts on the wild salmon population. While the motion’s approval was unanimous, Coun. Duane Post expressed concern about higher energy use and cost of land-based fish farming.
Pauline Carey of Agassiz spoke before district council to express her support for district officials and concerned residents forming an environmental advisory committee to take local steps to mitigate climate change. This is the third council meeting in a row in which residents have advocated for such a committee.
Carey is a clinical health counsellor and highlighted the mental health toll climate change takes on people.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Municipal Hall at 7 p.m. The meeting will also be broadcast live via Microsoft Teams; to register to attend online, visit www.kentbc.ca.
– With files from Katya Slepian