Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Kelowna Police Services building on Wednesday morning, as they rallied to support officers against a COVID vaccine mandate for federal employees.
Last month, Ottawa announced that core public servants, including members and reservists of the RCMP, must be vaccinated or face suspension without pay.
Public servants were to show they were fully vaccinated by October’s end, and disciplinary action is expected to begin Nov. 15.
On Wednesday, one protest organizer, David Lindsay, says not all officers are on board with the mandate. He said the rally was to show them they’re not alone.
“The whole objective was to show the police that we’re in support of them,” Lindsay told Global News, “and we appreciate all the support they’ve given us.
“We’ve had a lot of rallies and a lot of activities over the last 18 months opposing the COVID issues, and they’ve given a lot of support to a lot of people in the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
“So we’re here to support them, and to let them know their oath is to the monarch; it’s not to Bonnie Henry and it’s not to the government.”
The National Police Federation — the union representing RCMP officers — has already stated it will support members’ choice “to be vaccinated or not.”