More than three weeks have passed since a Kelowna man went on a racist tirade against a Sikh security guard outside of a local COVID-19 clinic, but charges have yet to be laid.
Two days after the incident took place outside of the Trinity Church COVID-19 immunization clinic on July 13, Kelowna RCMP said that they are launching a full investigation into the matter.
“We are now investigating this incident through the lens of the willful promotion of hatred under Section 319 of the Criminal Code,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy of the Kelowna RCMP on July 15.
“Racism has no place in our community, and I want to reassure the public that this matter is being given the full attention of our General Investigative Support Team in consultation with the Provincial Hate Crimes Unit.”
According to the Canada Justice Laws, wilful promotion of hatred under Section 319 of the Criminal Code is “an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or an offence punishable on summary conviction.”
However, Noseworthy told Capital News on Thursday (Aug. 5) that the incident remains in an investigative state.
“(It) has not been forwarded to Crown Counsel at this time,” she said.
On July 13, video taken by Infotel shows well-known Kelowna protestor Bruce Orydzuk repeatedly telling the guard that “he is not a Canadian” and to “go back to your country” after the guard told Orydzuk and 10 others protesting outside of the Trinity Church COVID-19 immunization clinic to move along.
“You’re not Canadian, you’re disgusting,” Orydzuk said to the security guard, who has been identified as Anmol Singh of Paladin Security.
Security Officer Anmol displayed #professionalism and courage in a very distressing situation, and we will be recognizing his #outstanding #service. We are very thankful for the overwhelmingly #positive response Anmol and our organization has received. [3/3] pic.twitter.com/E0dVkp5Ax7
— Paladin Security (@PaladinSecurity) July 15, 2021
In the video, Singh can be heard telling Orydzuk that he is in Canada on a work permit and that he is not going back.
Orydzuk’s comments and behaviour was heavily condemned by local and provincial officials, from Kelowna city councillor Mohini Singh to Premier John Horgan.
“This is vile, racist behaviour. If this is how you treat people, you are the problem,” Horgan wrote on Twitter. “Racism is a scourge and we must stand together against it to build a better province.”
This is vile, racist behaviour. If this is how you treat people, you are the problem.
Racism is a scourge and we must stand together against it to build a better province. https://t.co/9vySVQH0aG
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) July 15, 2021
Councillor Singh told Capital News that Orydzuk’s behaviour does not reflect Kelowna.
“This is not who we are. We’re an inclusive community,” said councillor Singh. “This is not who we are and this does not reflect our spirit. This kind of behaviour is intolerable. It’s not necessary.”