A planned anti-restriction protest took place in Kelowna, Feb. 13. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

A planned anti-restriction protest took place in Kelowna, Feb. 13. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Kelowna mayor, RCMP condemn upcoming anti-COVID protest

City, police asking people to be careful if they decide to join the protest

As B.C. enters the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions continue, the City of Kelowna’s mayor and RCMP superintendent are warning against an upcoming anti-COVID rally.

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

“At the same time, we have also always said we wish people at these rallies would follow public health orders like everyone else and the message has not changed.”

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance said the police’s role during these times has been challenging.

“We continue to attempt to dissuade protests and gatherings, but when they take place, the RCMP is present to ensure the safety of the public, and the protestors, and to prevent confrontations,” she said.

She said officers will continue to work with community partners to support COVID-19 compliance checks, investigate complaints and issue fines when appropriate.

The BC Supreme Court struck down the public health order related to outdoor gatherings or protests on March 18, stating the order infringed on people’s freedom to have a peaceful assembly and to have freedom of association.

Since the ruling, the Kelowna RCMP’s approach has been to maintain order and minimize the impact and inconvenience of the lawful protests when they happen.

As such, Triance said officers are working to find a balance between education and compliance checks or fines.

Basran added that the people who join the protests against COVID-19 restrictions are a fraction of people compared to the many others who follow public health orders in Kelowna.

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

READ MORE: 2nd vaccine dose delays leave Kelowna woman and many cancer patients unprotected


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Eric Schwenck was awarded the Train-to-Train Coach Goldie award by BC Alpine this year. He coached the Revelstoke Ski Club U14s last winter. (Katie Findlay photo)
Revelstoke Ski Club coach and volunteer recognized in the Goldie Awards

BC Alpine recognizes ski clubs, skiers and volunteers with awards every year

Moving the old jail from Third Street West to Carlson Street in May 1971. (Estelle Dickey photo; Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 9171)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for May 13

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the day

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Mario Bafaro awoke in the middle of the night on April 25 to his home on fire in the Big Eddy. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
‘I didn’t know I had so many friends’: Revelstoke fire victim thanks community for support

Mario Bafaro lost his home and dogs in a house fire on April 25

Tim Miller is selling his 76-foot steel bridge from his property in Burton, B.C. The bridge originates from the railway in Revelstoke. (Contributed)
For sale: a 100-ton 19th century bridge from Revelstoke

Bridge is now in Burton, B.C. and advertised for $40,000

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Rescue crews search for a missing diver in Okanagan Lake at Hot Sands Beach by the William R. Bennett Bridge on Sunday, May 16. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Missing Okanagan Lake diver presumed drowned, recovery efforts continue

Boaters are asked to stay away from the area as crews continue the search

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred at Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers by Carol and Robin Edwards, is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S. and has drawn an invitation to the world’s most famous dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club event in New York, next month. (Photo submitted)
Okanagan-bred cocker spaniel to strut stuff at Westminster Kennel Club

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred by Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers, is ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Most Read