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Threatening letters demand Okanagan mayors ‘cease and desist’ pandemic restrictions, vaccinations

A copy of a letter sent to Lake Country Mayor James Baker.
January 21, 2021 - 6:00 PM

Mayors across the Okanagan have been sent letters demanding the halt of the COVID-19 vaccinations and for the “cease and desist” of pandemic-related restrictions.

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said notices were sent out to municipalities this week by a mysterious group with the name 'Sovereign Republic of British Columbia' with his name attached to the letters, which he said were "definitely not the views of council or the mayor." 

According to the group’s website, the Sovereign Republic of British Columbia is “a De Jure government to replace the De facto Corporation British Columbia masquerading as a constitutional government.”

While Cumming’s name has been written on the front page of the letter addressed to Lake Country Mayor James Baker, a similar letter posted on the group’s website says Cumming is also under fire for “crimes against humanity.”

The letters demand mayors end COVID-19 vaccinations and restrictions and that COVID-19 testing is false. These letters and have been sent to Cumming, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Baker this week.

Basran said letters like this one will arrive at the city every so often while Cumming said this is the first time he's received a letter of this nature.

The letter writers also demand mayors stop the mandate for wearing masks, stop all “unlawful” lockdowns and halt social distancing restrictions.

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

Health orders and restrictions come from the provincial government, not municipalities. 

The group demands that mayors join a weekly teleconference, “seize” municipal control and become an unincorporated business and will receive criminal charges for aiding "false claims" about the pandemic and COVID-19 testing unless they meet the group’s demand within 10 days.

They have also sent letters of a similar nature to health minister Adrian Dix, the Attorney General of B.C., Minister of Justice in Canada David Lametti and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Baker said the documents were received by the municipality Monday, Jan. 18.

“It’s just garbage and it’s 10 or 15 pages,” Baker said. There is no name attached to the document other than Cumming’s but a PO box is listed as a return address in Vernon.

Baker won’t respond to them, he said.

Wilene Perez, executive assistant with the District of Lake Country, said the RCMP haven’t been notified at this time as there’s no official contact information for the RCMP to respond to, the return address is just a P.O. box and she hasn’t received further direction from council to do so.

The Sovereign Republic of British Columbia did not respond to request for information.

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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