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Board of Trade Members Support B.C. Vaccination Program


Greater Vancouver Board of Trade members continue to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19.

Last week B.C. Premier John Horgan announced a new partnership  that will employ more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in B.C.'s mass vaccination clinics.

Partners in the program include GVBOT members Air Canada, B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), Canadian Red Cross, Ceres Terminals Canada, Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver International Airport and WestJet. Together, they will be re-deploying hundreds of team members to provide meaningful support for what is being hailed as the largest public health initiative in B.C.'s history.

Logistical and operational training for hundreds of employees has already begun. Employees range from airport and airline staff, to cruise terminal teams, live and sporting event professionals, venue operators and more.

Workers will primarily provide their operational expertise as non-clinical staff at immunization clinics. Their roles will include assisting people as they move through the vaccination process and supporting the efficient and safe roll-out of the program. Logistical support and the contribution of supplies, furniture, and venues is also being offered by our members through the partnership program.

Air Canada has announced its teams will be welcoming and assisting people at the Coquitlam vaccination clinic, while the Canadian Red Cross will see its employees deployed to provide non-clinical support at vaccination centres in Island Health, Interior Health and Northern Health. Ceres Terminal Canada's cruise terminal teams has also said it will also be providing non-clinical support. Employees from the Pacific National Exhibition are also being brought in to provide non-clinical support, while PavCo is hosting a community vaccination site at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

"We're thrilled to support B.C.'s vaccination rollout and help our communities conquer COVID-19. Our partnership provides jobs for some of our furloughed colleagues who will be at the Coquitlam vaccination clinic site welcoming and assisting people. As more Canadians get vaccinated, we know confidence to travel will return, and we look forward to welcoming people back when they are ready."

Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, executive vice-president, chief human resources officer and public affairs, Air Canada

"At the request of provincial and regional health authorities, the Canadian Red Cross is pleased to be providing support to B.C.'s mass immunization efforts. Starting on March 29, Red Cross teams will provide non-clinical support at vaccination centres in Island Health, Interior Health and Northern Health. This is a hopeful time for British Columbians, and the Red Cross is proud to be a trusted partner."

Pat Quealey, vice-president, Canadian Red Cross - British Columbia and Yukon

"We are so thrilled to be a part of this initiative, which has allowed us to re-employ more than 300 people from the cruise and travel sector who were facing another year of lost employment with the continued ban on cruise ships into Canada. Instead, our cruise terminal teams are being redeployed to support our health authorities that are working tirelessly to vaccinate our communities, which will aid in the recovery of the tourism sector in the province."

Kathy deLisser, regional vice-president, Ceres Terminals Canada

"We are incredibly honoured PNE staff are being called upon to help during this public health emergency. As an organization with 110 years of history in British Columbia, the PNE is always committed to support British Columbians, and we are honoured to be a part of this incredibly important program to keep British Columbians safe."

Stacy Shields, acting president and CEO, Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)

"PavCo is proud to support British Columbians during the COVID-19 pandemic through hosting a community vaccination site at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The health and safety of everyone coming through our doors is our top priority. Our team has made every effort to ensure our spaces are safe so members of the public feel confident when they arrive for their appointment. We look forward to welcoming the public into our facilities and continuing to contribute economic and community benefits to the people of B.C."

Ken Cretney, chief executive officer, B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo)

Vancouver Airport Authority announced it is recalling many of its own employees, as well as Musqueam Nation members who are employees and airline and other airport business employees, to provide non-clinical support. Part-time staff from the Vancouver Canucks—who have been unable to work at Rogers Arena during the pandemic—will also be employed to provide non-clinical support. WestJet has announced that its teams will use their operational experience to help the clinics run smoothly.

"We are thrilled the Province of British Columbia asked us to partner to support the vaccine clinics. The tourism industry has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. This opportunity has allowed us to recall our own employees as well as Musqueam, airline and other airport business employees to provide meaningful employment in service of our community's greatest priority. I want to thank the Province of British Columbia for including us in this critical initiative that is contributing to the recovery of our industry and province."

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority

"The COVID-19 vaccine program is one of the most important initiatives of our lifetime and we are grateful to contribute in any way we can. Supporting this initiative also leads to employment for some of our part-time staff who haven't been able to work at Rogers Arena during the pandemic. I know our team is excited to contribute and proud to help our province through this final phase of the pandemic."

Trent Carroll, chief operating officer, Canucks Sports and Entertainment

"The caring experience our people provide is not exclusive to travel, it's a mindset that all WestJetters embody. WestJetters will help put people at ease, and with our operational experience in moving people through airports, aid in ensuring the clinics run smoothly. We are proud to partner with Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, Dr. Henry and Dr. Ballem as vaccinations are critical to protecting our citizens and getting our lives and our economies moving again."

Mark Porter, executive vice-president, people and culture, WestJet

We thank our members and the broader business community for their support in getting our province vaccinated!

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