In their regular meeting on September 19, Russell Township council reviewed the vaccine passport mandate launching on September 22. Council members reviewed several possible solutions for passport verification in non-essential settings, and although they didn’t reach an official verdict, they will call a later meeting to put one in place.
The first option they explored was hiring a security company to provide staff to check passports. They were looking into three companies: Falcon Security, which handles security for the sports dome and would cost about $36 per hour; Capital Security, which the township employed for election days and would cost $30/hr; and Shield Security, a new company, which would also cost $30/hr.
The second option they considered was hiring staff onto township payroll to take care of passport verification. There were several problems with this option: hiring would take up to a month and a half from interview to training, services would have to close if all the staff were unavailable to work, and the possibility of unhappy residents would make the position difficult and unpopular.
The third option was to not allow people into non-essential spaces like the recreational centre, and not rent out venues for public use. The spaces would be closed until restrictions eased, and while sports teams would still be able to practise and play against each other, there would be no spectators allowed.
Council voted for the first option, and a decision will be made soon on what company the township will be going with. Councillors said that the cost of hiring would not be passed on to customers or residents and would instead come out of the township’s COVID-19 reserve fund. They are also hopeful that restrictions will ease by the end of the year, dependent on the province reaching 90 per cent first-vaccination rate, limiting the need for security.