Mock hanging of B.C. Premier at anti-vaccine rally ‘unacceptable’ says attorney general

WatchThe province's attorney general says a recent graphic display of the premier and other politicians is inappropriate. Hannah Lepine has more.

The province’s attorney general says a recent graphic display of the premier and other politicians is inappropriate.

Anti-vaxxers put on a disturbing display of effigies with the faces of some MLAs as well as Premier John Horgan hung by the neck on the front steps of the B.C. Legislature during a protest Thursday.

B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby said in a statement provided to CHEK News that saying the displays, regardless of whether they were implied or actual threats of violence are “totally unacceptable.”

“One of the things that makes Canada and British Columbia a wonderful place to live is that we can strongly disagree without threatening each other’s safety. When people cross that line and move to threats and physical intimidation as a political tactic or for any other reason, it’s up to all of us to speak out against this threat to everyone’s quality of life.”

The protest was the backdrop of what organizers called a “Sunset Candlelight Ceremony,” marking the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials. The event was put on by a group opposing the current public health orders and who do not believe in the science behind COVID-19 vaccines.

“These hard-earned medical ethics and principles are significant during our current COVID epoch where civil rights are being eroded by politicians and their unelected bureaucrats,” the group said in a post on Facebook.

However, organizers of Thursday’s event say the people responsible for the effigies were not part of their group.

“We did have some hecklers come in, we asked them to leave, they refused to leave so we just kind of ignored them,” says Joseph Roberts, the emcee of the ceremony.

Anti-vaccine protests at the B.C. Legislature are not unusual, however, Thursday’s took a dramatic turn and Kyla Lee, a criminal lawyer with Acumen Law in Vancouver, says this group may have just crossed the line.

“Canadian people have the right to protest, you have the right to freedom of expression and expression can take many different forms but there are also limitations on your right to expression. One of those limitations is you can’t express yourself by uttering a threat to another individual,” says Lee.

She adds this could easily be taken as a threat, and if so police could investigate and potentially press charges.

“Your right to free expression ends where your expression threatens or intimidates another person,” adds Lee.

As of Sunday, the Victoria Police Department could not confirm whether or not they have opened an investigation.

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