#Spreadlovenothate: B.C. woman gets pleasant surprise while driving truck with Alberta plates - InfoNews

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#Spreadlovenothate: B.C. woman gets pleasant surprise while driving truck with Alberta plates

Charlene Pors got this letter on her windshield today.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Charlene Pors
May 27, 2020 - 5:33 PM

While it may seem that B.C.’s anti-Alberta sentiment has reached a fever pitch in this COVID-19 climate, a Revelstoke woman has seen a sign that cooler heads will prevail.

Charlene Pors drove her husband’s truck into Revelstoke’s downtown today to run some errands and was a bit nervous that she’d run into some of the hateful sentiment that’s been circulating in the news because of the Alberta plates on the truck she was driving.

“When I left the store I could see a note on my windshield and thought it was going to be horrible, but it was a lovely message saying, ‘Alberta, we love you,’” she said.

Pors said she doesn’t usually go online to share her thoughts, but she was so pleasantly surprised she was inspired to branch out to the town’s Facebook community page.

“Great to see the love for others is still strong in this amazing community that I call home despite the hatred acts of a select few,” she wrote, adding #spreadlovenothate hashtag.

Pors said her husband works in Alberta most of the month and she lives in Revelstoke. She’s been loath to drive his vehicle due to the stigma associated with the plate.

“It bothers me because you don’t know someone’s story,” she said. “People assume when they see a plate that people are driving around and spreading this virus, but maybe they’re taking care of a sick family member or something else… a plate doesn’t mean anything.”

She also said that there are many British Columbians that get their income from Alberta, and those who have their primary address in B.C. pay just as much into this province as anyone else who lives there.

While she said she has yet to hear any anti-Alberta sentiment in person, it’s become overwhelming online, although it's mostly focused on tourists, moreso since restrictions on parks and other travel destinations went in place.

Earlier this month the Ministry of Environment announced that camping in provincial parks will be open to B.C residents only this summer.

People with previous bookings received an email from the Ministry of Environment on May 21, informing them that non-B.C. residents with existing reservations will be cancelled, with a refund. The email stated any new reservations made after May 15 by non-B.C. residents will be subject to immediate cancellation without a refund.

And, in several press conferences Health Minister Adrian Dix has asked that people stay close to home rather than travelling beyond their borders.

Pors spends her summers in Sicamous and on that town's Facebook page, she said, anti-Alberta tourists commentary is the norm.

It’s so intense as of late that an admin of the Sicamous Rant and Rave page posted a firm warning that it’s no longer a welcome topic of discussion.

“It’s not just Albertans that needed to stay home. We were also told not to travel to Alberta, (and believe me... some of my favorite people live there and I visit them every year... but I can’t),” Cameron Davies wrote on a Facebook page.

“I am embarrassed at the locals that have chosen to vandalize and belittle guests that may or may not have a reason to be here. You need to turn around and choose to focus on you. That is a much more positive way to live life and will in turn better your life.”

Davies wrote that he is also embarrassed by the guests that choose to suggest B.C.’s little towns would be nothing without their presence and no Albertan dollars would be spent going forward.

“We will adapt to whatever circumstances come our way. In a time of crisis where supplies are limited... I totally agree that one should bring what they can and not fill up two grocery carts upon arrival,” he wrote. ”That’s just poor etiquette. Potentially unforeseen, but poor nonetheless.”

Further from the Alberta border, a similar clash of perspectives was had this week with a woman who asked Lake Country residents whether she and her family would be welcome should they go to their normal holiday spot.

Edmonton resident April Barnes and her family typically visit the Okanagan for a vacation.

“I wanted to see how the people I was going to interact with were feeling, since tourism is a big thing, but being respectful and kind is also a big thing,” she said. “If I’m not welcome, I don’t want to come.”

Our story seemed to hit a nerve with hundreds of responses, mostly mixed, with the majority of people being respectful.

“I host an annual family reunion on Shuswap that I rent a cabin from a Salmon Arm couple for. Been doing it a few years now. As an Albertan (born and raised in BC, however), I opted to cancel this year's event and stay at home instead, despite the cabin owners advising we could still rent their property if we chose to,” a reader identified as Don Evans said.

“It has nothing to do with B.C. vs Alberta. It's about us, as Canadians, limiting our travel and exposure to other people and communities where possible. I won't be vacationing out of town anywhere else either.... (Alberta) or otherwise. All the name-calling and nonsense about entitlement I'm reading on here is disappointing. We are all Canadian and need to do the right thing now so we can get back to normal-ish sooner than later. This bickering and tribalism isn't based in reality or helping the situation”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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