Kelowna RCMP has launched an investigation after anti-vaxx demonstrators disrupted an unofficial Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in City Park on Thursday (Nov. 11).
According to RCMP, there were around 75 to 100 demonstrators gathered at the cenotaph at around 10:55 a.m., interrupting an assembly of people who were honouring Remembrance Day.
Video captured by KelownaNow shows a number of attendees condemning a woman talking about vaccine passports on a microphone near the cenotaph.
“Not the right time, not the right place,” one man can be heard yelling at the woman. Spotted in the background is well-known protestor Bruce Orydzuk, who was seen hurling racist rhetoric at a security worker at a vaccination clinic hosted by Trinity Baptist Church in July.
“Kelowna RCMP officers support a person or groups right to protest, but when they choose to willfully interrupt the assembly of citizens at a Remembrance Day ceremony; this is a step too far,” said Insp. Adam MacIntosh.
“The Kelowna RCMP will be fully investigating this event to determine what offence, criminal or otherwise may have been committed and if appropriate the submission of charges or fines.”
Mayor Colin Basran called the incident “reprehensible.”
“There’s just no place for this on this particular day. It’s really unfortunate that this very small group of people decided to upset the community and disrespect veterans of this country. That’s one of the most disrespectful parts of this — the disrespect to the veterans.”
Those who took place in the demonstration who are out of town, he continued, are not welcome in the community. As for the demonstrators who are local, he said that “this behaviour, these protests need to stop.”
“They’re just ridiculous. The greater community does not accept or support what they’re doing.”
Mounties are asking anyone who captured the disruption on video to send a copy to Kelowna RCMP. An email proxy is in the process of being created for this purpose.
Those with information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300, or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.net.