A video posted to Twitter recently shows police arrested a man for trespassing and resisting arrest after a dispute with Dawson Creek city council over COVID and wearing a mask inside council chambers.
“This is a public town hall,” the person shooting the video can be heard saying. “This man has been arrested for absolutely no reason.”
But when the camera operator starts calling the police “brownshirts,” in reference to the organization founded by Adolf Hitler, one of the RCMP officers on the scene speaks up.
“Hey, if you ever compare this to Nazi Germany again, you are absolutely insane,” the officer can be heard saying.
“You have no idea what people went through. You putting on a mask to cover up your unbrushed teeth is not the same as what happened to Jews.”
Throughout, the camera operator can be heard saying “brownshirts” over and over, and as the officer walks away, the operator and a few in the small crowd of onlookers yell out “Nazis!”
Dawson Creek has seen a number of violent incidents surrounding B.C.’s COVID-19 protocols.
Kathleen Connolly, executive director of the Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, told The Canadian Press that the area has one of the lowest vaccine rates in the province, and that the community has been discussing the recent implementation of the vaccine card.
The violence and division even led to the cancellation of a federal all-candidates debate this week due to public safety concerns.
Connolly said there have already been threats to community leaders over the issues, so candidates have been asked to post online campaign videos.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, only 59 per cent of those 12 years and older have received at least one dose of vaccine.
In Peace River South, only 57 per cent of eligible people 12 years and older have received at least one dose.
Compare that to the provincial average of 85.2 per cent.
Last week, B.C. health officials extended some restrictions to the Northern Health region due to the increase in cases.
Any community in the region is now under the following restrictions:
- Indoor personal gatherings limited to one other family or five people
- Organized outdoor events more than 200 people need a COVID safety plan in place
- Personal outdoor gatherings, such as birthday parties or barbecues, limited to 50 people
Health Minister Adrian Dix said last week the “vast majority” of people in Northern Health hospitals, about 90 per cent, are unvaccinated.
– with files from The Canadian Press