UPDATED: Kelowna RCMP, Mayor warn against attending COVID-19 'mega rally' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATED: Kelowna RCMP, Mayor warn against attending COVID-19 'mega rally'

Supt. Kara Triance, of the Kelowna RCMP, asks the public to avoid attending protests in downtown Kelowna this weekend.
Image Credit: YouTube/rcmptv
February 10, 2021 - 12:10 PM

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance and Mayor Colin Basran are warning against the attendance of an anti-COVID-19 restriction "mega rally" planned in the city's downtown for this weekend.

"The plans this weekend for a mega rally and a march through downtown Kelowna in protest of the public health orders are very concerning," Triance said in a video. "The events leading up this have shown that people will gather and protest the public health orders and be loud and vocal in opposition to what’s been put in place in response to the global pandemic."

These protests are unlawful and put the community in danger, she said.

During the pandemic, anti-COVID-19 restriction rallies have been ongoing in Kelowna's downtown, spearheaded by David Lindsay, who has spent time in jail for refusing to pay taxes.

READ MORE: 'She's a liar,' Kelowna anti-COVID-19 restriction rally organizer takes aim at Dr. Bonnie Henry

"I want the public to know that the police are taking all steps possible, in our lawful authority, to stop these actions," Triance said. "The police are operating under the provisions of the Emergency Program Measures Act including laying fines, and where appropriate, working with the B.C. Prosecution Service to compel people to court."

She said she would like to dissuade anyone from attending the march or protests, adding that while people in Canada have the democratic right to peacefully protest, these rights "do not supersede public safety."

If the protests take place, RCMP will be on scene for public safety and to prevent confrontations.

"Our findings will be shared with our partners at the Provincial Health Authority and the B.C. Prosecution Service, and anyone not following the regulations set out by the public health orders can face fines," she said.

Provincial health orders preventing any gatherings remain in place at least until the end of the month.

She asks that the community works together to stay safe amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Basran also urged anyone thinking about coming to Kelowna for the so-called 'mega-rally' to reconsider and said none of these protesters represent Kelowna. 

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