Katie Kroeker, president of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, said she is confident that Peninsula businesses “are going above and beyond in their Covid prevention measures” in being eager to welcome tourists and visitors to Vancouver Island.

Katie Kroeker, president of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, said she is confident that Peninsula businesses “are going above and beyond in their Covid prevention measures” in being eager to welcome tourists and visitors to Vancouver Island.

President of Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce questions limits of inter-provincial travel

Katie Kroeker says some tourists loosen up virus prevention measures

The new president of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce says she is confident businesses on the Peninsula are meeting their COVID-19 prevention measures as the government contemplates measures including limits on inter-provincial travel.

“We are faced with two opposing tensions — the need to keep our Island residents safe and the need to keep them employed,” said Katie Kroeker, responding to comments from Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC).

“Tourism, transportation and hospitality are key sectors that keep our economy healthy, and yet by definition, it means welcoming people to the island which could lead to greater risk of COVID transmission,” she added.

During a virtual meeting Wednesday afternoon with Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, about U.S.-Canada relations in the wake of the pandemic and the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, Beatty said cutting B.C. off from the rest of Canada is not a good idea.

RELATED: Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“What we need to do is to look to manage the disease, not to shut down our regions or to partition Canada more than it is already.”

His comments come after a conference call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several premiers, during which they discussed the issue of inter-provincial travel. B.C. Premier John Horgan later told media that a Maritime-style travel ban is unlikely for the province, voicing skepticism that such a policy was practical or legal.

While the province can impose restrictions on people travelling for non-essential purposes if they are causing harm to the health and safety of British Columbians, much of the current interprovincial travel is work-related and therefore cannot be restricted, said Horgan.

RELATED: Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

Kroeker’s comments reject a choice between reducing travel and public health. While many locals “resonate with the desire for a change of scenery and a break from being housebound,” Kroeker detects a “reflexive, opposing instinct” when thinking about non-locals spending time on the Saanich Peninsula.

“What has been problematic in the past, (have) been tourists who come to the Island thinking it is a safe place to holiday and loosen up their otherwise vigilant prevention practices.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Victoria police are investigating after several vehicles were smashed and a basement was flooded along lower Cook Street March 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating smashed vehicles, flooded basement on Cook Street

Police seeking witnesses, footage of several ‘mischief’ incidents

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Langley RCMP will be collecting donations for the local food bank at the Willoughby Town Centre parking lot (20678 Willoughby Town Centre Drive near the Royal Bank) on Saturday Dec. 19 from noon till 4 p.m. (file)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

Most Read