British Columbia

Nelson Police Department warns residents against flouting B.C. vaccine card rules

Police say arrests will be made should anyone bully or coerce businesses that enforce the vaccine card mandate.

Those participating in 'order and not pick up' takeout may also be charged with fraud

A protest in Nelson against the provincial vaccine card mandate on Sept. 1 drew hundreds. (Bill Metcalfe/ Nelson Star)

Residents who bully or coerce businesses that enforce the vaccine card mandate will be arrested, said Nelson Police Department Chief Donovan Fisher. 

In a statement, the NPD said that in cases of planned protests and disruptions against businesses that are required to inspect vaccine cards, police will support the businesses. 

They also said that those participating in 'order and not pick up' takeout will be investigated and charged with fraud. This involves ordering food over the phone and not showing up to pay and pick up the food. 

Fisher said that while they hope to resolve such conflicts through verbal mediation, they will resort to arrest if it is necessary. 

There were a few minor incidents and small protests when the vaccine mandate was enforced on Monday, according to Fisher. 

"We'll do what we can to facilitate people's rights to have peaceful protests and share their opinion with everyone, and we'll continue to do that until it comes to the point where it is interfering with other people," he said.

Only around 67 per cent of residents age 12 and above in Nelson have had two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Sept. 16, one of the lowest rates in the province.

Nelson was a COVID-19 hotspot throughout August. The Nelson area had a total 382 new cases recorded between July 25 and Aug. 21. 

Relish resistance

Nelson restaurant Rel-ish has switched their business model to fast-food style to avoid having to check customers' vaccination status. 

Owner and chef Trevor Ditzel said that he has moved away from serving alcohol and table service. 

"I don't want to discriminate against anyone at all ... so far I've gotten a lot more positive feedback than negative feedback." 

Ditzel said that if this business model turns out to be unsuccessful, he will close his restaurant before he asks customers to show their vaccination cards.


Michelle Gomez is a CBC Reporter in Vancouver. You can contact her at

With files from Daybreak South