The City of Williams Lake has changed its rules on spectators at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
City CAO Gary Muraca said under 50 spectators will not require proof of vaccination to be at the complex, which, he believes, falls in line with the current provincial health orders.
“We are going to require what the province requires,” Muraca said Tuesday. “We are not going above that.”
The city made an announcement Monday (Sept. 13) which noted adults over 22 years old would be required to produce vaccine passports in order to be a spectator at indoor youth sports.
Muraca said the city’s earlier decision was based on communication from the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) which provides information and direction to local governments who own and operate indoor recreation facilities.
When contacted Tuesday, BCRPA CEO Rebecca Tunnacliffe said the association was seeking confirmation on the rules surrounding spectators.
“The matter of spectators’ vaccine status is unresolved and we continue to seek clarification from the PHO,” Tunnacliffe told the Tribune in an emailed response.
In an interview Monday evening, Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association president Mike Rispin said he already had parents calling to pull their children out of hockey with news of a vaccine passport requirement for spectators.
“Youth sports in this city cannot lose participation,” Rispin said. “As we lose members, we lose money and the ability to put on good programs.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Rispin welcomed the news that under 50 spectators can attend indoor youth sports without proof of vaccination.
“I’m happy. I wish we didn’t have to do any of this, but I’m glad we could find a compromise.”
Rispin wanted to remind all partipants and spectators to treat individuals who have to volunteer and work within these requirements with the utmost respect.
“After the end of the day, it’s all about kids on ice.”