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‘I couldn’t believe what was happening’: Island man at Kelowna Remembrance Day service

The RCMP is now investigating after as many as 100 people opposed to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations disrupted a Remembrance Day service at Kelowna’s Cenotaph.

On Thursday (Nov. 11), the protesters set up a speaker and microphone to air their grievances over the mandate.

And it just so happens Campbell River’s Sean Smith was among the crowd.

“At first, we figured this was another part of the ceremony that was maybe impromptu,” the local security guard recalls.

But that wasn’t the case.

“One woman started off saying that the Legion dropped the ball and that there should have been a full ceremony, and then she went into a full-on anti-vaccination, anti-mask diatribe,” Smith says.

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In a viral video posted online, the Campbell Riverite was actually first to step up and say something.

While pointing to military medals on his jacket, Smith said, “Hey, lady. Take a look at these. (Today) is not the (expletive) day.”

Today, Smith tells My Campbell River Now he’s somewhat regretful of his language.

“But I was just livid angry. I couldn’t believe this was happening in front of me,” he says.

“[My dad] was angry too. We both realized we had better leave before our anger got the best of us. There were a lot of other Veterans that stepped up too. They were pissed off and rightfully so.”

The Mounties say the disruption was “a step too far.” One Kelowna city councillor actually called the demonstrators’ actions “disgusting.”

“This is one of the most solemn days for me, my family and my fellow Veterans. It’s just not the time or place for that kind of political nonsense,” Smith adds. “I haven’t been that angry in years, and I certainly never thought I’d ever be that angry on Remembrance Day.”

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