Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine ads have popped up on some West Kelowna billboards.
Several ads cycle through on the digital billboards. One reads, “COVID. Is the cure worse than the illness?”
Another reads, “Masks. Distancing. Lockdowns.. Are they working?”
The ads are causing some controversy in the Okanagan.
“With the case numbers that are rising daily in B.C., now is not the time to question the science behind the pandemic,” said Tim Werry, a West Kelowna resident.
Bob Stedham, a Peachland resident, said he is confused at why people would believe these conspiracies.
“I strongly believe in the health industry and I strongly believe in Dr. Bonnie Henry and her advice. I’m bewildered as to why people would think the government is trying to control us,” he said.
Another West Kelowna resident who said he has relatives in the health industry said the information on the ads is dangerous.
“I think those ads are quite ignorant, misplaced and misguided. I happen to have a sister who’s a doctor and a sister who’s a doctor and they are coping with this everyday,” said Gerry Bakker.
The ads direct people to a website called Vaccine Choice Canada, which is filled with anti-vaccination propaganda, anti-lockdown petitions and other articles claiming COVID-19 measures have gone too far.
The billboards are managed by a company named Mountain Media.
The company did not respond to requests for an interview but on its website it does say “any graphic whatsoever may be used as long as it is not offensive.”
Vaccine Choice Canada has two Okanagan chapters, one in Lake Country, and Vernon.
Neither responded to Global News’ requests for interviews in time for broadcast.
In a statement Interior Health said it hopes that the public will rely on trusted and accurate public health information, such as that provided regularly by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Interior Health medical health officers and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.