Club owners across the country continue the fight to save their businesses
Fitness Industry Council of Canada’s (FIC) British Columbia Provincial Coalition continues to see success as it further builds its relationship with its provincial government officials and public health department. The not-for-profit trade association, which represents the voice of fitness facility operators in B.C. and across the country, has been active publishing press releases and attending stakeholder meetings. Coalition representatives also appeared on Global Television news discussing the implementation of vaccine passport cards in the province.
“We’ve recently made three big asks from our provincial Minister of Health regarding the upcoming passport card,” says Carl Ulmer, treasurer of FIC, and member of FIC’s B.C. Provincial Coalition, and director of operations for Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness. “They agreed to all of our requests,” says Ulmer.
1. Software verification vaccine passport card
B.C. fitness clubs will be allowed to use their current software to register members’ vaccine status. “Some clubs have high volumes of customers and many of them are making repeat visits,” says Sara Hodson, president of FIC, and member of FIC’s B.C. Provincial Coalition, and CEO of Live Well Exercise Clinic. “We will get written consent from members to record their vaccine status making it a one-and-done system for proof of vaccine.”
2. More lead time provided
The Minister of Health agreed to provide additional time for clubs to ready their systems to comply with the new passport card program. This leeway will allow a club to, in the beginning phases of the program, visually verify a member’s vaccine passport card, without being fined, until its verification software process is in place.
3. Unstaffed overnight allowed
Facilities that are open 24/7 will be allowed to remain unstaffed overnight as long as their software gives access to vaccinated members only. This is unique to British Columbia clubs thus far. “The overhead costs and time required to hire new staff for overnight positions were unreasonable,” says Ulmer, “and the Minister of Health agreed.”
Ulmer and Hodson have also requested a grant program for all British Columbia fitness clubs be implemented, similar to the provincial government grants that were made available to clubs in March.
“The fitness industry is somewhat unique in that the summer months are typically slower months,” says Ulmer. “B.C. fitness clubs struggled through this past summer anticipating a busy September. Unfortunately, the vaccine passport card program has had a negative impact on our traffic. We look forward to hearing more about this potential grant program in the coming weeks.”
For more information about Fitness Industry Council of Canada and to support your provincial coalition, visit www.ficdn.ca.
Barb Gormley is a FitBizWeekly.ca contributor, freelance fitness writer and editor, and a personal trainer. Contact her at www.barbgormley.com.