DAWSON CREEK -- As cases of COVID-19 in the North head in the wrong direction, the MLA for Peace River South is garnering a lot of attention in B.C. and Alberta.

Mike Bernier says our neighbours to the East have influenced COVID-19 numbers and low vaccine rates in the Peace Region.

He says many people in the Dawson Creek and the Fort St. John areas have close ties in Alberta, for work, family and leisure.

The MLA believes the mentality and vaccine hesitancy many Albertans have shown in the past has spilled into our part of the province.

“They were very behind in comparison to a lot of other provinces with putting in restrictions and around the commentary about the importance of getting vaccinated, and that really spread into our region,” said Bernier.

”I've talked to a lot of people that have said they're not doing it in Alberta, why are we doing it in British Columbia."

Bernier thinks Alberta has since shifted its narrative around covid-19, implementing more mandates and promoting vaccine uptake.

He's hoping the same sentiment will move into northern B.C.

However recent covid-19 numbers in Alberta say otherwise.

The province's hospitalizations have gone up 91% since last year.

There are 248 people in hospital, up from 24 a year ago.

Alberta is currently reporting an 85% vaccination rate for first doses.

Areas just across the provincial border, as Manning, Fairview and Spirit River, are sitting at around 51%.