‘Talk about commie intimidation, eh?’ woman says when asked to wear mask in Kelowna store - InfoNews

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‘Talk about commie intimidation, eh?’ woman says when asked to wear mask in Kelowna store

A security guard asks a woman to wear a mask in the Kelowna LUSH store.
Image Credit: Jill Cowie/Twitter
September 19, 2020 - 7:18 PM

A recent encounter at the Kelowna LUSH store has gone viral, highlighting yet another conflict between those who are working in the service industry and people who are struggling to adhere to policy aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Susan Roth Drazdoff Faechner first posted the video with the caption “Kelowna BC. LUSH is the store. Called RCMP. Their response? Yeah, well we’re trying but right now not much we can do. This is our BC! BC Canada! Talk about intimidation! Grrr.”

In the video posted to Jill Cowie’ Twitter account, Faechner can be heard complaining about being ousted from the store for not following its mask wearing policy.


“Explain to me about how my human rights, with my medical condition, cannot walk through a store when it’s totally fine for me to walk through a store,” the woman said in the video that’s been seen by 1,300 people to date.

“Do you have a medical note?” A security guard asked.

“I don’t need to give you my medical note. I have my puffer with me but that’s none of your business,” she responded.

The guard then tries to explain it's the LUSH store policy and the woman counters by saying that she was was just browsing when staff started “harassing” her and asking her to leave if she couldn’t comply with the maks-wearing policy.

It goes on until the woman gets a contact number she requests.

Before she leaves, however, she can be heard saying, “talk about commie intimidation, eh?’

LUSH stores, like a growing number of stores in North America, mandated face masks on July 18.

“As of Saturday, July 18th, face coverings are now mandatory in all Lush stores across North America. Please note: this is applicable only to stores that are allowing entry into the shop itself, and not for those customers participating in contactless curbside and storefront pickup,” reads the LUSH website.

“Shoppers who wish to enter a store but do not have their own face covering will be provided with one, or can choose contactless ordering instead by remaining outside the store while staff assist. The change comes following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, along with our ongoing commitment to the safety of our customers, staff and overall community.”

Richard Powers, a University of Toronto associate professor with expertise in business law, says the policy is well within a company's rights.

"The safety of retail workers and staff trumps the customers' right to refuse wearing a mask," he said.

"Businesses have a legal responsibility to create a safe working environment and if having people wear masks is a reasonable accommodation, which I think it is, to provide that safe environment, I believe that the retailer can refuse entry to someone who will not don a mask."

—With files from CP

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