Protestors disrupt Kelowna council meeting calling for action on unfounded sex assault files | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Protestors disrupt Kelowna council meeting calling for action on unfounded sex assault files

Protestor Heather Friesen speaks to reporters outside Kelowna city council chambers, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.
February 24, 2020 - 3:15 PM

Two women briefly disrupted Kelowna city council’s meeting today by holding up signs from their seats in the gallery, one of which said, “Your silence speaks volumes.”

Heather Friesen was one of the protesters. She helped organize a protest a few months ago outside the Kelowna RCMP station while it was being investigated for a high percentage of sexual assault complaints being ruled as unfounded.

A national police review was conducted on 88 sexual assault cases and that report went to Kelowna RCMP a month ago for a review.

“Why aren’t they (city councillors) asking the Kelowna RCMP to give them that review?” Friesen said to media outside of council chambers, after a brief exchange with Mayor Colin Basran.

“Madam, if you can be quiet, it would be appreciated,” Basran said.

“Ya, just like you,” Friesen retorted.

Friesen left a few minutes later, thrusting her middle finger into the air in the direction of council.

She told the media that Basran has refused to meet with her. Some councillors have met with her but are still not speaking up, she said.

What she wants, first of all, is to have the review of Kelowna RCMP actions released. Then she wants to have a discussion between the City, police and the Elizabeth Fry Society. She’s also calling for the Kelowna RCMP to set up a sexual assault unit.

Upset that she’s not getting much support from the community, she said she will be taking further actions but has yet to decide what her next move will be.

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