Advertisement

Coronavirus: Kelowna City Hall spray-painted with anti-lockdown messages

Click to play video 'Kelowna’s mayor says anti-COVID message spray-painted on city hall building is not only criminal but misguided' Kelowna’s mayor says anti-COVID message spray-painted on city hall building is not only criminal but misguided
Kelowna’s mayor says anti-COVID message spray-painted on city hall building is not only criminal but misguided – Oct 27, 2020

It appears someone in Kelowna has reached a boiling point regarding the province’s coronavirus restrictions.

On Tuesday morning, two large messages opposing COVID-19 measures were spray-painted on city hall.

The first statement, in black capital letters, said “NO NEW NORMAL COVID IS A PLANDEMIC”.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: ‘We must act now’: U.K. unveils controversial coronavirus lockdown plan

Below a set of windows was another: “I WANT BREATH[E] FRESH AIR AND LIVE FRE[E] COVID HAS A 99.9% SURVI[V]AL RATE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE DOES NOT”.

Kelowna’s mayor called the vandalism frustrating and said it will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars to clean up.

“Certainly everybody deserves the right to protest, but to do so peacefully, and not by committing a crime, which is what happened last night,” Mayor Colin Basran said.

“I think people need to recognize that the provincial government is in charge of pandemic response— not municipal governments — so the protest is a little bit misguided.”

The city said the vandalism occurred sometime between the evening of Oct. 26 and the early morning of Oct. 27.

The main entrance floor to city hall was also spray-painted.

Story continues below advertisement

The incident was reported to police, who have launched an investigation.

“This investigation is in its infancy,” said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy. “This behaviour is criminal and we will be following all leads to determine who did this graffiti.”

Click to play video 'Presidential debate: ‘We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does,’ says Trump on coronavirus lockdowns' Presidential debate: ‘We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does,’ says Trump on coronavirus lockdowns
Presidential debate: ‘We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does,’ says Trump on coronavirus lockdowns – Oct 22, 2020

The graffiti appeared a day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced another restriction following a spike in COVID-19 cases: a limit on gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household plus your “safe six.”

Several rallies have been held in the Okanagan protesting coronavirus lockdown measures.

In August, more than 160 people gathered at one rally. A flyer promoting the event said “hugs allowed and no masks required.”

Story continues below advertisement

“Why have they locked down our economy, why have they shut down all elective surgeries,” David Lindsey, one of the event’s speakers, told Global News at the time.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up' Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up
Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up – Oct 26, 2020
On Tuesday, one local resident was asked by Global News for his thoughts about the graffiti. He said “I think someone’s been watching too much [Donald] Trump, to be honest.”

Wearing a black facemask, Dave Mathieson added “Defacing public property is absolutely brutal. There are so many ways to get your opinion out without messing up city hall.”

Another resident, Jesse Arnup, also panned the graffiti, calling it ridiculous.

“This act of vandalism is not something that should be tolerated in our society at all,” said Arnup. “It shouldn’t be allowed whatsoever.”

Story continues below advertisement

Regarding the message, Arnup said “it’s pretty ignorant. The facts are out there that COVID is spreading quite rapidly throughout our society, and we have to do what we have to do to try and stop it.”

– with files from Klaudia Van Emmerik and Megan Turcato