Fruitvale Coun. Lindsay Kenny

Fruitvale Coun. Lindsay Kenny

Fruitvale councillor victim of online attacks

An anti-vaxxer gathering in Fruitvale results in coun. Lindsay Kenny getting bullied online

A Fruitvale council member wasn’t alarmed that COVID protesters rallied at her child’s favourite park, but is more concerned with the ensuing social media attacks from the community.

Coun. Lindsay Kenny took her daughter to the park about the same time the rally moved from the downtown core to the far end of Creekside Park on Columbia Gardens Road in Fruitvale.

She could hear the messaging from the protest, but became alarmed when a man on a bike began yelling obscenities at the protesters.

“When I got down there, a guy on a bike was screaming at the top of his lungs, while my daughter was there, screaming profanities,” said Kenny.

The protesters had been asked to move from the pole yard to the public park, where they set up a microphone for speeches. Everything was audible to Kenny who was playing on the swings with her child.

“I left before the police got there, my kids were tired, and I had nothing to do with the protest,” said Kenny. “I was minding my own business, but could hear everything.”

While most of the 40 or so protesters were without masks, they appeared to be somewhat socially distanced.

Read more: Anti-vaxxers rally in Fruitvale

According to an RCMP release, the police intervened, and politely asked the protesters to disperse, stating: “Trail RCMP would like to remind the public that anyone attending such an event could be issued a $230 fine for attending a non-compliant event under Section 4(4) of the Emergency Program Act.”

According to one attendee, the police were courteous and so were the protesters. Adding that the protest contained a number of different entities, including religious leaders who consider their work essential to the community, and are advocating for their right to provide spiritual guidance and service to Trail’s most vulnerable.

The protests also include anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who question the accepted science, others are unapologetic COVID deniers, while many are civil rights advocates who are concerned with the restrictions placed on people and businesses by the emergency powers.

For the RCMP it’s about public safety.

“Trail and Greater District community wants to prevent our local hospital from becoming overwhelmed with new cases, which will help ensure anyone can get medical treatment and care if required,” read the release.

“Gatherings like this one can lead to the accelerated spread of COVID-19 through contact and close contact.”

For Kenny, the experience has shown the dark side of people on both sides of the ‘Great Divide’ and adversely affected her friends and family. Kenny’s presence at the park elicited a barrage of social media attacks, spreading misinformation.

“Right now everybody is angry,” said Kenny. “Everyone’s angry on this side of the great divide and everybody’s angry on that side of the divide, and now people are threatening my kids. People are threatening me.”

The right to peaceful assembly is one of Canada’s fundamental rights as is the Freedom of Conscience and Religion. The B.C. Supreme Court struck down the Public Health Order to ban outdoor protests but upheld the prohibition of in-person religious gatherings.

For Kenny, all sides need to take a deep breath and consider their actions both in public and on social media.

The Fruitvale councillor reached out to one of her online critics and had a discussion that ended in mutual understanding and compassion.

“We had a great talk, between her and I the divide is gone and there is understanding and love, and we need more of that.”

“The bullying has to stop. People want to be heard, everybody wants to be heard, and I have my ears wide open, but lets do it in a safe way, because right now it’s getting too dangerous.”

The experience has been a trying one for many people on both sides. But for all of Greater Trail, Kenny encourages understanding, support, and safety.

“It’s the community as a whole, and we all need a big hug.”

Read more: Rossland doctor troubled by COVID deniers

Read more: Rossland mayor asks for understanding after travel south of border



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Small town residents Reed and Dusty, played by drama students Niya Irving and Cole Simpson, contemplate what brought them to a condemned park and what is keeping them there in the Dover Bay Secondary School production of ‘Bethel Park Falls.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
High school drama students present outdoor performance at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay

Production to be staged in school courtyard with in-person audience

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Sarah Duguay so investigators can check on her well-being. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to find woman who called police for help but hasn’t been located

Sarah Duguay, 40, not reported missing, but police want to check on her well-being

Beef to the pet owner who brought his puppy into the cold beer and wine store, where it promptly peed on another customer’s ankle.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 9

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read