Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)

Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett has apologized after publishing promotional material that suggested Tofino residents have all been vaccinated and the community is safe for tourists to travel to.

In a recent ‘Tidbits from Tim’ newsletter update, Hackett wrote about the resort’s green initiatives and restaurant offerings and added that the resort is welcoming visitors from Vancouver Island this spring with protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The post also suggested that Tofino residents have all been vaccinated and that the community is safe to travel to.

“I am happy to report that over a three week period, everyone in Tofino, regardless of their age, has received their first Covid-19 injection. This makes Tofino safe for residents, people working in the hospitality industry, and really importantly, our guests,” the post reads.

Community-wide vaccination clinics began in Tofino and Ucluelet on April 12 and residents over the age of 18 are eligible to make appointments. The entire community has not yet been vaccinated and the province is expected to announce increased restrictions on non-essential travel on Friday due to rising COVID-19 cases.

READ MORE: B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Hackett’s post was shared through social media by concerned residents expressing frustration and Tofino mayor Dan Law told the Westerly News the post was forwarded to him on Thursday morning and he was dismayed to see false information being shared with potential travellers.

“When I first read it, I was a bit shocked because it’s just not true and I was disappointed to see that kind of misinformation being posted by the owner of a prominent resort in our community, very disappointed,” Law said. “It will be interesting to see the reaction from the community and it will be interesting to see the reaction from the province. That’s what I’ll be quite interested to see, knowing that the province has made it very clear that now is not the time to travel and vacationing is not essential travel.”

READ MORE: B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

He noted not all residents have been vaccinated as appointments are expected to run through April and that vaccinations take roughly three weeks to be effective, adding that Island Health and provincial health authorities have been working hard to distribute vaccines safely and efficiently as well as to keep British Columbians informed.

“To see this (resort) subvert all of that effort in one poorly informed post to potential visitors to Tofino is just utterly disappointing,” he said.

Hackett issued a brief apology at 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

“To our community and guests…Please accept my sincerest apologies for my recent comments about the west coast community vaccines. I am not an expert and should not have commented on it,” reads the apology distributed by Long Beach Lodge via email. “We defer to our Island Health and Provincial experts for information.”

The apology includes a link to an upcoming Public Forum for West Coast communities being hosted by Island Health on April 27.

Posted by District of Tofino on Friday, April 16, 2021

Law said the response to COVID-19 has varied in Tofino, with some accommodations and businesses shutting down and others remaining open.

“The municipality doesn’t enforce provincial orders. That’s outside of our jurisdiction and as you can see, businesses are able to advertise as they wish and function as they wish,” he said. “As far as I know, we do not have the ability as a municipality to enforce or react to this kind of advertising or misinformation.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

READ MORE: Ucluelet seniors receive COVID-19 vaccine

READ MORE: COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

CoronavirusTofino,Tourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A boat caught on fire this morning (May 11) in Port Hardy. (Adam Harding/Port Hardy Fire Rescue Facebook photo)
Fishing boat catches fire in Port Hardy, owner’s quick thinking puts out flames

The incident is a good reminder to always have a working fire extinguisher onboard your boat

School District 85 logo
Fort Rupert Elementary School gets funding from MusiCounts

The $1 million investment will support 95 schools

Agree or disagree with North Island Rising? Write a letter to the editor at editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.
McQuarrie: Budget meeting drama caused by unruly councillor

It was an amazing and unexpected response to what should have been… Continue reading

The medical clinic building in Port McNeill. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Medical clinic gives update on health care in Port McNeill

The town appears to be ‘closer to a new and sustainable medical model for our town’

New electric buses are coming to school districts. (Submitted photo)
New electric school buses will drive North Island forward

Travel on electric school buses is smoother, quieter, and healthier than traditional diesel buses

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read