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COVID-19: Kelowna RCMP, mayor urge anti-restriction protesters to adhere to health orders

COVID-19: Kelowna RCMP, mayor urge anti-restriction protesters to adhere to health orders

COVID-19: Kelowna RCMP, mayor urge anti-restriction protesters to adhere to health orders image
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Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Kara Triance are asking anti-lockdown protesters to adhere to public health orders, the very orders many of them are protesting.

“We have always said we respect the right to peacefully protest and the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that the outdoor rallies we’ve seen in Kelowna are legal,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“At the same time, we have always said we wish the people at these rallies would follow public health orders like everyone else.

“With dangerous new variants in this third way wave of the pandemic, everyone should wear a mask, keep a safe distance from each other and limit travel within our community or to our community.”

Read more: Why is opposition to lockdowns, masks and science growing? The psychology of defiance explained

Kelowna RCMP said although officers continue to dissuade protests and gatherings from happening, efforts will continue to police the events. 

“When they take place, the RCMP is present to ensure the safety of the public and protesters and to prevent confrontations,” said Supt. Kara Triance.

“Our approach is to maintain order and to minimize the impact on the rest of the community.”

Triance said the Kelowna RCMP will continue to enforce public health orders in the city.

“We will continue to work with our partners in support of COVID-19 with compliance checks, investigating complaints and issuing fines where appropriate,” said Triance.

Read more: Tickets issued to 11 ‘key participants’ at Saskatoon COVID-19 anti-mask rally

Basran said the protesters make up just a small fraction of people in the community and is thanking the thousands of people who do follow public health orders currently in place.

“Council and the RCMP are encouraged by the overwhelming community support for our provinces public health orders and we are thankful for your respectful actions to protect each other,” said Basran.

Click to play video: Okanagan business bans vaccinated people from entering
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