Premier condemns actions of anti-COVID-19 vaccine protestors in Salmon Arm schools | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Premier condemns actions of anti-COVID-19 vaccine protestors in Salmon Arm schools

Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters at a media briefing, April 9, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
September 18, 2021 - 12:14 PM

B.C.’s premier has condemned the actions of protestors this week who took to Salmon Arm schools to spread messages against COVID-19 vaccinations.

North Okanagan-Shuswap school district superintendent Donna Kriger sent out a message to parents yesterday stating protests at Salmon Arm schools were held by those opposing masks and vaccines.

READ MORE: Anti-COVID-19 vaccine protestors enter Salmon Arm schools

“This morning, protestors did something that was completely unacceptable, which was choosing to enter schools in and around Salmon Arm. As a result, our schools will be placed under ‘hold and secure’ to ensure the safety of staff and students,” she said in the message.

Students were not able to leave the building throughout the remainder of the school day, Sept. 17.

“You’d think we wouldn’t need to say this but - stay away from children! There is simply no justification for these actions,” said Premier John Horgan, via Twitter.

Salmon Arm parents have also voiced their frustration at the protestors this week.


“This is disturbing and wrong on every level. Schools, like hospitals, are absolutely no place for this. My thoughts are with staff, students and parents who should never encounter these situations at an elementary school,” said current MP for the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Dan Albus.

School District No. 23 board chair Moyra Baxter said she wasn’t aware of any protests on school properties within the Central Okanagan, and it’s rare for a school district to go into a lockdown.

However, at Wednesday night’s board meeting, she said a small group of people against vaccines made their case known.

A man went far over the time period allocated for questions and answers and she said next time she’s putting a timer on speakers. If they want to talk longer, they can put in a request for a presentation, she said.

“There was definitely a sort of negative period in the room, to be honest,” she said.

She noted a majority of parents in the school district have been quiet about the issue, which she takes as most are complying and accepting of provincial health guidelines.

“This is not the place to be protesting and nobody is allowed into our schools uninvited… all visitors have to sign in and you have to know why they’re there. You can’t just have people wandering around a school. As a trustee, I have to go to the office and I sign in,” she said.

COVID-19 vaccination clinic dates and times at schools have been removed from Interior Health’s website. The health authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kyle Cardinal, who has shared and promoted anti-COVID-19 vaccination conspiracy theories on his Facebook page and attended a Kelowna rally, lived-streamed a protest outside of a School District No. 83 school yesterday. He said he was “serving those that are inoculating our children.”

Starting on Monday, Sept. 20, which is an in-service day, all school doors will remain locked and the school district is working with RCMP to ensure protesters are kept off district property, Kriger said.

The RCMP and Kriger did not return a request for comment.


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