'She's a liar,' Kelowna anti-COVID-19 restriction rally organizer takes aim at Dr. Bonnie Henry | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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

David Lindsay, organizer of the anti-COVID-19 restriction rallies in Kelowna, walks along Kelowna's waterfront Saturday, Jan. 16.
January 16, 2021 - 3:46 PM

The organizer of Kelowna's weekly anti-COVID-19-restriction protests has been issued two $2,300 fines to date, but that hasn't deterred him yet.

David Lindsay was in Stuart Park again Saturday afternoon, giving a speech to a crowd of roughly 100 people. Any kind of gathering is in contravention of health orders put in place Nov. 19 by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The order lasts until Feb. 5.

While the number of people who gathered far exceeded what's considered acceptable by provincial health orders, it was a significantly smaller group than was seen in previous weeks. Those present were just as vocal about their perspective, however, shouting out at those they saw wearing masks, taking umbrage with the presence of media.

“We have a duty not to comply and that’s what we’re doing, we’re sending a message. The COVID-19 alleged pandemic is completely unsupported in fact and law,” Lindsay said to the crowd that carried signs that read like “99.98% survival rate is not a pandemic.” Although no one in the crowd was wearing masks, they were outside and physically-distanced from one another.

“The only four facts that Dr. Bonnie Henry relied upon for her (first order on gatherings) all existed last year for the flu, and the year before that," he said.

“She’s not a hero, she’s not a saviour she’s a liar and the only place her picture should be is in a police file being charged,” Lindsay said.

The crowd cheered.

“She’s not elected she’s appointed,” one man yelled.

In a provincial state of emergency, the Provincial Health Officer — in this case Dr. Bonnie Henry— can make orders as needed.

Lindsay declined to comment for this story.

An anti-COVID-19 restriction rally was held in downtown Kelowna, Saturday, Jan. 16.
An anti-COVID-19 restriction rally was held in downtown Kelowna, Saturday, Jan. 16.

Leading these protests has prompted a closer look at Lindsay's history. In recent weeks his long-time history of frivolous lawsuits and jail-time spent for refusing to pay taxes was put in focus again by various media outlets. As were his ties to an alleged white supremacist.

None of which appeared to be a concern for Kelowna resident Mitch Murphy, also known as the Red Pill Rapper. He has a song about being a Proud Boy, and said he joined the rally because he believes in choice. The federal government is considering adding the Proud Boys and other alt-right groups to Canada's list of terrorist organizations.

READ MORE: Federal government weighs listing Proud Boys as terrorist group

“I believe in self-autonomy and I believe in individualism,” he said, adding that he’s attended multiple protests.

Unlike many there, he believes COVID-19 is real, but said he has the right to assess the risk and act accordingly instead of “having his actions mandated by unelected officials.”

Murphy believes in Lindsay’s main message of “freedom,” but regarding data and statistics, “that’s all individual things and I support his right to say it. That doesn’t mean I’ve researched everything he says but the general message I do support,” he said.

“I’m upset and disturbed by the media’s coverage of what’s going on, I feel like with them recording on every case as an outbreak, to me it feels like a lot of fear-based propaganda,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he respected that some people want to wear a mask because it's their choice.

A police officer at the scene declined to comment on whether any fines would be issued in regard to health orders preventing social gatherings from being breached. 

"We are monitoring our ongoing concerns for provincial public health orders and respond to each incident while working with our partner in the provincial health authorities and B.C. Prosecution Service," according to Kelowna RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

"The self-identified organizer of this event has been issued a ticket in the amount of $2,300 for violating the provincial public health orders," according to the RCMP. 

"We are reiterating to the public that the provincial public health orders are not optional. For those who have been abiding by the laws, thank you; now is not the time to give up. Vaccinations are being rolled out across our province. Please dig deep and find the courage to remain safe and calm," says Supt. Kara Triance of the Kelowna RCMP, in a press release.

"We will continue to respond and enforce the provisions available to us, and work with our partners in the B.C. Health Authorities and B.C. Prosecution Service to gain compliance with the provincial health orders."

READ MORE: Organizer of Kelowna protest issued $2,300 fine

- This story was updated at 4 p.m. to include additional comments from the RCMP.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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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