Three emergency rooms have closed their doors in British Columbia. According to True North, local residents have been advised to look elsewhere for help. Specifically, residents have been told to drive one hour and a half away to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, BC.

Interior Health has not specified whether these shortages are vaccine-related, but the BC Nurses Union has publicly voiced its opposition to the government mandate that all healthcare workers be vaccinated. Roughly 20% of nurses are not vaccinated.

“We cannot support any order which will serve to remove even a single nurse or other health care worker from the health care system at a time of severe crisis,” said the union in a September 13, 2021 statement.

By the end of September, over 100 healthcare workers were removed from their position for refusing to be vaccinated. For those remaining, they have until October 26, 2021 to be vaccinated. Those who refuse to comply will be put on unpaid leave.

“The union is not in a position to support an order which will serve to remove even a single nurse or other health care worker from the health care system at a time of severe crisis, it’s just not something that we can do,” said BC Nurses Union vice-president Aman Grewal.