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Controversial Okanagan billboard felled by complaints: WFN

Click to play video: 'Controversial billboard taken down in West Kelowna'
Controversial billboard taken down in West Kelowna
A billboard put up in West Kelowna just over a week ago, has stirred up much controversy. And now, the banner, that was labeled 'discriminatory' by the queer community is being taken down, with advocates calling it a big win. Jasmine King reports – Feb 14, 2023

The people spoke, and Westbank First Nation listened.

A controversial billboard was taken down just 10 days after it was put up with little fuss or muss, and it turns out it was the WFN that ordered the change in tack.

“In determining which ads can or can not be placed, signage companies should be adhering to Canada Ad Standards in making their decisions,” the WFN said in a statement.

“Westbank First Nation (WFN) did receive a large volume of complaint letters and reached out to the signage company who ultimately made the decision to remove it. We applaud the power of the LGBTQ+ community in coming together to see this ad removed.”

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A WFN representative went on to say that the First Nation is an “inclusive community and encourages people to speak out when they see something they feel is wrong.”

Click to play video: 'Billboard in West Kelowna sparking outrage'
Billboard in West Kelowna sparking outrage

The billboard depicted a caricature in front of a Progress Pride flag, with the text: What are your kids REALLY learning in school?

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When it was up, the billboard directed those who see it to a website called getawake.ca, where a variety of ideas about the so-called “political and ideological indoctrination of children in Canadian schools.”

Claims were made about the “conditioning generations of children to wear masks, be victims,” and they also took aim at SOGI 123, which is described as “disturbing” in one of the videos on the site.

The billboard was taken down by contractors for the billboard company on Tuesday.  Only a couple of days earlier, however, BC Billboards, the company that rented out the space, told Global News on it was allowed due to freedom of speech.

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BC Billboards, the company that rented out the space, told Global News on Saturday that the billboard was allowed due to freedom of speech.

On Wednesday, Get Awake Canada issued a statement on the billboard being taken down.

“In the day days this billboard was live, the campaign had over 250,000 views on social media, 10,000 visits to our website and generated news coverage across Canada, which showed overwhelming ratios of public support,” said the statement.

“Speaking about verboten subjects in Canada gets you cancelled. We firmly believe in the right to free speech and the rights of parents to raise their children how they see fit without interference from government and activist organizations.”

 

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