Anti-vaxxers in B.C. have blocked hospitals from caring for people, protested outside schools and disrupted a Remembrance Day ceremony. Now, they appear to be spreading racist hate symbols.
Someone last week defaced a billboard outside Smithers for Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen with a swastika. Underneath it was scribbled the words “DOC Bonnie Hitler,” an apparent reference to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Cullen called it “a blatant act of anti-Semitic vandalism” and says that “this is not the first time people have used such terrible, hateful imagery.”
“Anti-Semitism, racism, and discrimination affect the entire community, not just those targeted,” he tweeted. “My staff have reported this unacceptable act to the authorities. As a descendant of Jewish people, I can tell you of the pain and hurt these images cause within the community and many others. It simply must stop.”
The hate-speech directed towards Cullen came not long after he spoke out in support of a bill that would restrict the ability of anti-vaxxers to protest outside hospitals and schools.
“You don’t get to harass and intimidate somebody going to work. You don’t get to go after our kids in schools. That is not right,” Cullen said at the time.
That apparently didn’t sit well with some anti-vaxxers in the Skeena.
“Smithers has been home to more anti-vaccination and anti-restriction rallies than most places in northwest B.C. With a vaccination rate (double dose for people aged 12 and above) at 75 per cent in Smithers, it ranks lower than neighbouring local health areas such as Terrace (82 per cent), Kitimat (95 per cent), Prince Rupert (84 per cent),” the Interior News reports.
The RCMP are currently investigating the incident.