Hundreds of anti-mask protesters walked along Yale Road near Hodgins Avenue during the Fraser Valley Freedom Rally on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Hundreds of anti-mask protesters walked along Yale Road near Hodgins Avenue during the Fraser Valley Freedom Rally on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Nearly 100 Abbotsford businesses listed as anti-vaccine passport, some unwittingly

Many people saying they will boycott businesses who support B.C. vaccine passport program

Two Abbotsford businesses are among those shocked to find their names on a province-wide list that alleges they don’t plan to ask people for vaccine passports.

Sprouted Oven and Banter Ice Cream say they fully intend to follow public health orders, but they aren’t even among the businesses – at this point – that are required to check the public for the passports when they come into effect on Sept. 13.

The non-compliance list has been swirling around the internet, filled with B.C. businesses that allegedly don’t plan to ask people for vaccine passports.

Several of the businesses are in Abbotsford, and some of them did not ask to be on the list.

It was created by people who don’t want to be asked for their passport, and some that don’t even want to be asked to wear a mask. There are multiple Facebook pages dedicated to growing the list and a website database where businesses can add themselves.

Sprouted Oven and Banter Ice Cream originally were shocked to find out about their inclusion when the list was more widely circulated.

Both were eventually removed from the list, although people are still sharing images of the original list, continuing the misinformation.

There are people insisting they will boycott any business that supports masks and the vaccine passport. But there are also many who are happy to see businesses return to masks, and have no problem showing their vaccination record to access these non-essential services.

It’s becoming a complicated communications issue, as people are wanting to know who to support with their dollars.

One Facebook page dedicated to listing what businesses are doing says one of the problems is that many of those planning to flout the rules wouldn’t even have to comply in the first place.

READ MORE: Call police on COVID-19 vaccination card refusers, B.C.’s John Horgan says

“Problem is most businesses that said they wouldn’t enforce it aren’t even required to when the Sept. 13 rules come into effect, and are likely just virtue signaling in an attempt to gain more customers (and potentially lose some as well),” said Ryan Good, an administrator of “BC COVID-19 business blacklist/whitelist.”

The website database shows nearly 100 Abbotsford businesses as being against the vaccine passport. But most of them are home-based businesses or service providers that would not need to ask for the passports. They include repair services, hair stylists, grocery stores, mechanics and others.

The passport applies to indoor ticketed concerts, theatre, dance, symphony and sporting events; indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars; nightclubs and casinos; movie theatres; gyms, pools and recreation facilities; indoor high-intensity group exercise; indoor organized gatherings like weddings, parties, conferences, meetings and workshops; indoor organized group recreational classes and activities like pottery and art; and post-secondary on-campus student housing.

With so many people planning to support or boycott businesses, The News reached out to the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

Their response is that they are still in the process of gathering information from their members about the Vaccination Passport Program.

“The Chamber will be releasing a board statement once it is finalized,” they said. “In addition, we are also working within our BC Chamber of Commerce network to feed in on the concerns received from businesses.”

For full information on the passport program, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof

Several businesses on the non-compliance list did not respond to The News for comment.

READ MORE: Canadian business community largely supportive of vaccine passport system


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