'Freedom' supporters planning Canada Day events in the Southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Freedom' supporters planning Canada Day events in the Southern Interior

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The word “freedom” has taken on a special meaning in Canada since the “freedom convoy” descended on Ottawa last winter and “freedom” rallies and convoys became common across the country.

Penticton 4 Freedom, for example, describes itself as “a grassroots organization that provides rallies and other educational events in support of the rights and freedoms of all.”

It has links on its website to groups like Freedom Rising, Action4Canada and Vaccine Choice Canada.

Action4Canada describes itself as being “in opposition to the destructive policies tearing at the fabric of this nation. We are committed to protecting faith, family and freedom.”

The movement has waned, along with COVID, and there are scant public listings of “freedom” events in the Thompson and Okanagan for tomorrow, July 1.

The Penticton 4 Freedom Facebook page lists two events for Canada Day.

One is for a 10:30 a.m. parade starting in the arena parking lot in Osoyoos.

Supporters of the “freedom” movement say they’ve been invited to participate in the City of Enderby’s Canada Day parade. They say they will be handing out 500 “educational goodie bags.” That community parade is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, a member of the Kelowna Freedom Rally Facebook group posted a call-out for volunteers for a “Pack the Park” event at Mission Creek Regional Park.

They are trying to organize a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. event with things like kids’ activities, music, guest speakers and a potluck.

There’s a suggestion that “we could do a convoy through town after and have our vehicles decked right out and make some noise!”

For those with a more traditional view of Canada Day, here’s what the federal Immigration and Citizenship ministry says about freedom.

“On Canada Day, we celebrate our freedoms, rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens,” it says. “We remember the shared history, symbols and values that define us as Canadians. All of these things give us our identity.”

It invites Canadians to view a live-streamed citizenship ceremony at 11 a.m., pacific time. Go here for more information.

Live television broadcasts will be made of Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, even as it braces for freedom rallies.

READ MORE: Ottawa residents, police brace for protests on Canada Day

After a two-year hiatus because of COVID, most communities in the Thompson-Okanagan are having public events to celebrate Canada Day in a more traditional celebration of freedom.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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