Anti-masker launches recall campaign to remove Vernon-Monashee MLA | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Anti-masker launches recall campaign to remove Vernon-Monashee MLA

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Harwinder Sandhu

An anti-masker who believes COVID-19 isn't harmful to children and blames the NDP for "historically" attacking religion, has launched a petition to recall the vote in an effort to unseat Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu.

Elections B.C. confirmed that Vernon resident Genevieve Ring had successfully launched a recall petition.

For the petition to be successful, Ring must now collect  21,268 signatures which equates to 40 per cent of eligible voters that voted in the last election in the Vernon-Monashee riding.

Under B.C.’s recall law, voters can remove an MLA if they manage to get signatures from more than 40 per cent of people that voted in a riding within 60 days.

If successful, a byelection would be called, and Sandhu would have to run again if she wanted to get her seat back.

READ MORE: Anti-mandate group organizing recall of Vernon's MLA

Ring didn't have to do much to start the recall petition, just pay a $50 processing fee and provide a statement on why she felt the MLA should be recalled.

Speaking to Ring said she was spearheading the recall because people were "fed up" with the NDP government and the poor job Sandhu was doing.

"(Sandu's) part of the government and the government has acted badly, she's given no assistance, no help, no direction, over the last couple of years, and it's been very rough in Vernon-Monashee," she said. "The health-care system is broken... it's broken in Interior health and its broken in Vernon."

Although the odds are against her, she does think she has a chance of recalling the vote.

If successful, however, Ring said she wouldn't be standing for a seat in the legislature, but encouraged others to stand as independents. She said she is not part of any larger group or organization.

"I think people have never been so fed up, so many people haven't been out of work because of government action," she said.

Ring also said making children wear masks was "child abuse" and there was no proof of evolution as it was just a theory.

Ring, who described herself as a devout Catholic, said the NDP has historically attacked Catholics and  that NDP leader Tommy Douglas once wrote a paper about "exterminating Catholics."

She said the NDP's anti-Catholic sentiment was the "basis of their party."

In her statement to Elections B.C. said the NDP government has "historically attacked religion and used COVID-19 as an excuse to keep religious people from their right to assemble freely."

In her statement Ring said the riding is experiencing a crisis in access to healthcare and family doctors, oncology and laboratories. She then goes on to spread misinformation about COVID-19 and masks.

Ring said COVID-19 poses no "significant" risks to school children and incorrectly said the NDP government has forced students to wear masks even though masks have been "proven harmful for the physiological, psychological, and social development of children."

She said the NDP government has historically attacked religion and used COVID-19 as an excuse to keep religious people from their right to assemble freely.

Many workers have been out on unpaid leave "which has no legal basis" and are now living off their savings, she said. She also accused the NDP government of forcing small businesses to close and putting people in debt and on their way to poverty.

Ring runs Loreto Strata Management in Vernon.

Elections B.C. said since the recall law came into place in 1995, 26 recall petitions have been approved.

Only six of those petitions were returned to Elections B.C. for verification.

Five were found to not have enough valid signatures and one was halted during the verification process because the MLA resigned.

— This story was updated at 5:09 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, to include comments from Genevieve Ring.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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