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Vancouver couple accused of being vaccine tourists invited back to Yukon for court appearances

Last Updated Jan 27, 2021 at 6:24 pm PST

FILE -- A nurse prepares a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during the national launch of the vaccination of hospital staff at the Etterbeek-Ixelles site of the Iris Sud Hospitals in Brussel?s, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
Summary

Vancouver couple accused of being vaccine tourists are getting invited back to the Yukon for upcoming court appearances

Yukon's Community Services Minister says their selfish behaviour put a region with zero active cases of COVID-19 at risk

Streicker adds the Bakers have yet to apologize or offer amends to the White River First Nation

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A wealthy Vancouver couple accused of being vaccine tourists in a remote Yukon town last week haven’t apologized yet, but there’s time.

The territory’s Community Services Minister, John Streicker, says he expects former Great Canadian Gaming CEO Rod Baker and his wife, Ekaterina, to return to Whitehorse for court appearances and reconciliation with the White River First Nation.

“We need to get past thinking about ourselves and thinking about others so that we begin to think about others. I think it’s more important than we think about everybody –not just ourselves,” Streicker says.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health Tuesday, there won’t be any space made for the couple to get their required second shot in B.C.

Streicker could not comment on if he’s pleased the Bakers won’t be allowed to access their second dose of vaccine anywhere in BC before they’re deemed eligible.

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Last week the couple was charged under Yukon’s Emergency Measures Act for failure to self-isolate and failure to behave in a manner consistent with their declaration upon arrival.

Streicker says the couple allegedly presented themselves as visiting workers, misleading staff at the mobile vaccination clinic in Beaver Creek.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon.

“Our current self-isolation requirements are in place to protect the health and safety of all Yukoners, especially our communities,” he says. “Anyone who violates the self-isolation requirements puts all Yukoners at risk, and we take these actions very seriously.”

Streicker says the 55-year-old man and 32-year-old woman’s selfish behaviour put a region with zero active cases of COVID-19 at risk.

“All of us, as Yukoners, are outraged. Reports allege these individuals were deceptive and violated emergency measures for their own advantage which is completely unacceptable at any time, but especially during a public health crisis.”

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has confirmed they were not tested for COVID-19 before they flew back to Vancouver.

“I want to be very clear, though, if you are a Canadian but do not live in the Yukon. You are not eligible to be vaccinated in the Yukon. You must be vaccinated in your home jurisdiction. Yukon is a beautiful destination and we look forward to welcoming visitors again when it is safe to do so.”

 

– With files from The Canadian Press