Kamloops councillor leaves 100 kind messages on vehicles with out-of-province plates | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops councillor leaves 100 kind messages on vehicles with out-of-province plates

Kamloops Coun. Mike O'Reilly has been leaving hand-written notes and his card on vehicles with out-of-province plates.
Image Credit: Twitter/Mike O'Reilly
September 04, 2020 - 11:49 AM

After seeing a vehicle with an out-of-province plate get its window smashed in Kamloops last month, city councillor Mike O’Reilly wanted to change the conversation about the city to visitors.

In early August, an Alberta radio show host had his window smashed while at a local hotel, prompting him to lash out at B.C. Premier John Horgan's suggestion for those with out-of-province plates to ride a bicycle or use public transit to avoid incidents.

READ MORE: Alberta radio host has truck window smashed in Kamloops

For the past 30 days, Coun. O’Reilly has been leaving positive notes along with his card on vehicles with out-of-province plates, welcoming visitors to the city.

Today, Sept. 4, he dropped off his 100th card. O’Reilly said he mainly visited hotels, strip malls and dropped off the notes on his morning walks around downtown.

“It’s trying to change the narrative and hopefully spread the good word about coming to Kamloops and it is a safe place to come through or travel or visit,” he said.

There's power in a handwritten note, he said.

“I think it’s the same as if you open your mailbox and have a handwritten letter from a long-lost friend compared to an email. There’s a lot more power to that. It’s a lot more time-consuming.”

O’Reilly has received emails, text messages and phone calls from people, all giving their appreciation for the notes.

“That means a lot,” he said, adding that he’s had about 10 to 15 replies.

Other cities have also openly welcomed visitors. After a resident found a nasty note on his vehicle with Alberta plates, Revelstoke’s mayor asked the community to welcome visitors.

READ MORE: Revelstoke mayor asks residents to welcome visitors

A UBC Okanagan student living in Kelowna posted a disclaimer on his vehicle with plates from Washington State explaining he's a university student after people followed him home one night.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in July to treat those with out-of-province plates with kindness, as residents don't know their full stories as to why they're here in the province.

O’Reilly is wrapping up his note-writing this month, he said, as the tourism season is ending.

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