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UPDATED: Protesters rally outside MLA offices to challenge COVID-19 restrictions

Protesters stood outside the office of Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson Monday morning to protest the provincial health restrictions instituted by the BC Government to help stop the spread of COVID-19. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

Approximately 40-50 people stood outside the office of Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson Monday morning carrying signs to protest the provincial health restrictions instituted by the BC Government to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The protesters were waiting for the MLA office to open to present a document outlining how the Public Health restrictions are hurting people and the economy in BC.

"Peaceful rallies were heldoutside MLA offices in order to hand pertinent medical and scientific documentation along with important questions raised by concerned British Columbians directly to MLAs where possible," a member of Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston said in a media release.

"Be it known, all MLAs ofBritish Columbia are now personally and officially directed to address these questions regarding COVID19 measures in the Legislature as it reconvenes."

Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston said rallies were staged throughout the province on the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 Emergency Act inacted by the BC Government.

Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said neither Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson nor any of her staff were availableto meet with constituents rallying outside the Josephine Street office in Nelson.

Later, when Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston representatives visited the office of Kootenay West Katrine Conroy, they were once againunable to find the MLA or any staff. 

“Sadly, the days of being able tomeet with our governing representatives (a function of democracy) to discuss matters of utmost importance appear to be finished,” Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said.

Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said freedom groups like are emerging organically in all regions of the province inresponse to worsening public health outcomes due to COVID19 measures and obvious transgressions of the Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms.

“People from all walks of life are choosing to associate themselves with freedom groups because they are proponents of truth and dignity for the human condition,” Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said.

“This includes many doctors, nurses and police who are sick of having to violate both their professional ethics and the Charter.”

Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said some, like the recently formed group, Police on Guard for Thee, are hiring constitutional lawyers to put a stop to the systematic trampling of our rights and freedoms.

Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston dispute media reports that hospitals are overrun and claim the COVID-19 lockdown is damaging the public's self confidence leading to loss of income and enjoyment of life.

"While mainstream media and other pundits distract the populace with stories of new mutations and a fictional third wave, our once-great country and vibrant province based on life-affirming Canadian values becomes unrecognizable," the Kootenay Freedom Unite Creston rep said.

"This situation is not acceptable to members of the Kootenay Freedom and Unite Creston so the Hansard transcripts will be checked to ensure MLAs Brittny Anderson and Katrine Conroy have addressed our concerns prior to the expected vote in the Legislature to extend the Emergency Program Act beyond March 2, 2021."

Nelson Police officers, who spoke to some of the protesters, maintained a presence to monitor the rally.

One protester told The Nelson Daily, the people were peacefully standing in front of MLA Anderson’s office, and maintaining a safe social distance.

Saturday afternoon, many of the same people attended a rally outside Nelson City Hall to voice their concerns over Public Health Office order limiting gatherings and events and the wearing of masks in many public indoor settings.

The protesters, carrying signs, waited for the office of MLA Brittny Anderson to open to present a document against the government's COVID-19 measures.

Earlier this month, Nelson Police issued a 58-year-old Winlaw woman a ticket for being in contravention of the COVID-19 Measures Act.

Nelson Police said the organizer of the Kootenay Freedom Peaceful Assembly rally, held at City Hall on Ward Street, was issued a $2,300 Violation Ticket as a result of the current Provincial Health Order banning individuals who choose to organize gatherings in contravention of the COVID-19 Measures Act.

The Nelson protests follows the recent alert by health officials about the possibility that COVID-19 variants could cause case counts to skyrocket.

Monday, the BC Ministry of Health released weekend numbers, reporting 1,428 new cases, for a total of 77,263 cases in British Columbia.

The three days of reporting said:

  • Feb. 19 to 20, we had 504 new cases
  • Feb. 20 to 21 we had 475 new cases
  • Feb. 21 to 22 449 new cases.

One day numbers, released Monday, for Interior Health had 67 in the region.

The sign says COVID-19 measures have done more harm than good.