Updated: Nov 14
Mayor Basran and Castanet News,
I read with disappointment (but not surprise) the extremely biased reporting that was conducted in relation to yesterday’s rally at KGH. Mayor Basran, you made several extremely negative comments yesterday and I would like to correct several of those statements. First of all, you are aware that the rally was not a “protest”, and that the purpose of the rally was to show healthcare workers that they are supported by many members of society who do not condone mandated vaccines for any contingent of society, including healthcare workers. You are also aware that no stress was placed on the hospital during the rally, as no driveways were blocked, no buildings were entered and certainly no one was violent or aggressive. Indeed, the majority of protestors were over 50 years of age and more closely resembled friendly grandparents than the BLM vandals the City of Kelowna condoned last summer.
In terms of accusing the rally attendees of having a “low intellect”, as per usual the City of Kelowna has stooped to the lowest common denominator. When one is unable to attack his opponents on values and arguments, one attacks at a base level to incite hate and demean one’s opponents. I am extremely disappointed that you are so disingenuous as to not acknowledge that the reason the hospital location was chosen was to (a) garner attention for these unconstitutional vaccine mandates, and (b) to support these healthcare workers. Apparently Castanet’s reporter didn’t think to approach any of the many ralliers wearing scrubs who were hospital staff and healthcare workers in order to obtain their opinion on the situation. I personally stood next to a physiotherapist and two nurses at the rally, and met several other healthcare workers who walked by me in their hospital uniforms. I’m sure that was just back luck on Castanet’s part not to talk to any of these workers, of course.
Apparently Castanet’s reporters not only have vision problems, but hearing problems as well. Castanet omitted to report that the vast majority of people that drove by honked their horns, waved and gave the ralliers the “thumbs up” to thank them for supporting their charter freedoms, regardless of vaccination status.
Finally, I’d like to express my absolute astonishment at what passes for journalism in this city. Castanet’s baseless claim that its journalists were afraid of 1000 peaceful citizens who were exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression is completely ridiculous and unsubstantiated. There were many very educated and eloquent attendees yesterday who would have happily spoken to these journalists had they actually identified themselves.
I am hopeful that perhaps we can start an open debate about the merits of all Covid-19 related policies in Kelowna. Please accept my open invitation for any councilperson or member of Castanet to meet with me for a coffee to discuss my very legitimate concerns about vaccine mandates and the state of journalism and politics in this city, as a microcosm of this province and country.
Yours in freedom and informed consent.