Fruitvale Coun. Lindsay Kenny

Fruitvale Coun. Lindsay Kenny

Fruitvale councillor victim of online attacks

An anti-vaxxer gathering in Fruitvale results in coun. Lindsay Kenny getting bullied online

A Fruitvale council member wasn’t alarmed that COVID protesters rallied at her child’s favourite park, but is more concerned with the ensuing social media attacks from the community.

Coun. Lindsay Kenny took her daughter to the park about the same time the rally moved from the downtown core to the far end of Creekside Park on Columbia Gardens Road in Fruitvale.

She could hear the messaging from the protest, but became alarmed when a man on a bike began yelling obscenities at the protesters.

“When I got down there, a guy on a bike was screaming at the top of his lungs, while my daughter was there, screaming profanities,” said Kenny.

The protesters had been asked to move from the pole yard to the public park, where they set up a microphone for speeches. Everything was audible to Kenny who was playing on the swings with her child.

“I left before the police got there, my kids were tired, and I had nothing to do with the protest,” said Kenny. “I was minding my own business, but could hear everything.”

While most of the 40 or so protesters were without masks, they appeared to be somewhat socially distanced.

Read more: Anti-vaxxers rally in Fruitvale

According to an RCMP release, the police intervened, and politely asked the protesters to disperse, stating: “Trail RCMP would like to remind the public that anyone attending such an event could be issued a $230 fine for attending a non-compliant event under Section 4(4) of the Emergency Program Act.”

According to one attendee, the police were courteous and so were the protesters. Adding that the protest contained a number of different entities, including religious leaders who consider their work essential to the community, and are advocating for their right to provide spiritual guidance and service to Trail’s most vulnerable.

The protests also include anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who question the accepted science, others are unapologetic COVID deniers, while many are civil rights advocates who are concerned with the restrictions placed on people and businesses by the emergency powers.

For the RCMP it’s about public safety.

“Trail and Greater District community wants to prevent our local hospital from becoming overwhelmed with new cases, which will help ensure anyone can get medical treatment and care if required,” read the release.

“Gatherings like this one can lead to the accelerated spread of COVID-19 through contact and close contact.”

For Kenny, the experience has shown the dark side of people on both sides of the ‘Great Divide’ and adversely affected her friends and family. Kenny’s presence at the park elicited a barrage of social media attacks, spreading misinformation.

“Right now everybody is angry,” said Kenny. “Everyone’s angry on this side of the great divide and everybody’s angry on that side of the divide, and now people are threatening my kids. People are threatening me.”

The right to peaceful assembly is one of Canada’s fundamental rights as is the Freedom of Conscience and Religion. The B.C. Supreme Court struck down the Public Health Order to ban outdoor protests but upheld the prohibition of in-person religious gatherings.

For Kenny, all sides need to take a deep breath and consider their actions both in public and on social media.

The Fruitvale councillor reached out to one of her online critics and had a discussion that ended in mutual understanding and compassion.

“We had a great talk, between her and I the divide is gone and there is understanding and love, and we need more of that.”

“The bullying has to stop. People want to be heard, everybody wants to be heard, and I have my ears wide open, but lets do it in a safe way, because right now it’s getting too dangerous.”

The experience has been a trying one for many people on both sides. But for all of Greater Trail, Kenny encourages understanding, support, and safety.

“It’s the community as a whole, and we all need a big hug.”

Read more: Rossland doctor troubled by COVID deniers

Read more: Rossland mayor asks for understanding after travel south of border



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read