Mayor Walt Cobb was in attendance for Wednesday’s pro-choice for vaccines rally to listen to the concerns of Williams Lake residents.
Cobb says he was invited to the rally and said he would go and listen to the resident’s concerns.
“I acknowledge that they have concerns and I understand that,” Cobb says, “and I do really believe that we should have a right to choice, and whether you agree or disagree with their stance, I do believe that they have the right to make their own choice as I do. I wanted to hear what they had to say, they were very, I don’t know about organized, but they were certainly respectful. There were no issues around it, as they met on the lawn [at City Hall].”
Cobb says he didn’t attend the start of the rally at the curling rink because the rally was coming to City Hall afterwards.
“I support the movement and the right to make your choice,” Cobb states.
Cobb says he heard a number of concerns from residents regarding the vaccine passports and employment.
“It appeared because some of them that I talked to have already been vaccinated, some of them wear masks where they need to. What seemed to be the biggest drawback and what really got them organized was the passport issue. Some of them were business people and didn’t know how they were going to administer it, to begin with. How they can’t find staff now, let alone hire someone to check your passport as you come in the door. So that was a concern to them more than anything, they just felt the passport was going one step too far in trying to control people. They did understand and I did mention that ‘ok, we do have choices to make, but quite often choices come with consequences, and as long as you understand that you can make your choice accordingly.”
Cobb says he also heard from people who had concerns about losing their jobs.
“There were a couple of ladies who came to me that were in the health care system, and their fear was that they were going to end up, at the end of the day, they may end up losing their job if they weren’t vaccinated.”
He says he has also been in contact with Interior Health regarding the issue.
“We met with Interior Health over the vaccination and the new amount of people being affected by COVID in our health region and whatnot, and I asked them, ‘Knowing that at least four people that have contacted me stating that they’re in the health care system, they don’t want to be vaccinated and if they lose their job,’ and my question was, ‘we have a shortage of nurses, we have a shortage of healthcare workers now, what is going to happen if all these nurses that aren’t going to get vaccinated lose their jobs, and how is the government going to deal with that.”
Cobb says there are lots of concerns over this issue and it’s certainly troublesome for a lot of people in a lot of different ways.