Kamloops this Week

City of Kamloops to remove ‘COVID is a lie’ posters from power poles

The signs state: “WAKE UP BC!! COVID-19 IS A LIE. “WE LOVE YOU”

  • May. 22, 2020 2:04 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

Frank Dwyer has admired artwork on power poles as he walks around the Sagebrush neighbourhood. Recently, however, new signs have popped up he wants removed.

The signs state: “WAKE UP BC!! COVID-19 IS A LIE. “WE LOVE YOU” and reference the hashtag #WWG1WGA, which is connected to the extremist right wing conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

Travis View is a San Diego-based writer, conspiracy theory researcher and co-host of the podcast QAnon Anonymous. He has written extensively about Qanon and, in a Washington Post article, summed up the fringe movement’s thusly:

“There is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who rule the world, essentially, and they control everything. They control politicians, and they control the media. They control Hollywood, and they cover up their existence, essentially. And they would have continued ruling the world, were it not for the election of President Donald Trump.”

The hashtag #WWG1WGA means “Where we go one, we go all.”

“There are limits to freedom of expression,” Dwyer said. “In times when we’re all being instructed to pull together, consider how your remarks would affect somebody who just lost their mother to COVID-19 or a physician who’s just come off a 14-hour shift at the hospital. … In Canada, we are a much more tolerant people. We are not inclined to be as extreme as our neighbours to the south. I would call it deluded, misguided and insensitive.”

Dwyer counted between 10 and 12 of the signs, which were printed on white computer paper with black, all-caps san-serif font, placed into laminated page protectors and stapled high atop the polls. Dwyer said someone went to quite the trouble to put up the signs, noting it likely took a ladder to staple the signs, which were attached to poles about seven feet from the ground.

“That’s the big question — who’s doing it?” Dwyer said. “I tend to ask neighbours to keep their eye out. It occurred to me the trouble they took, how high. It’s very deliberate, thought out.”

Dwyer reported the signs to the City of Kamloops’ bylaws department and council. He also contacted public health and raised the issue with the Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association board on Thursday night.

“I don’t want them to be seen by someone who has lost a loved one or, even, many frontline workers live in our area,” he said. “Many hospital employees live where we are.”

Having been made aware of the situation, it appears the city is taking immediate action.

City CAO David Trawin said the signs contravene city bylaws and are illegal. He was made aware of them Friday morning and said bylaws officers will be in the area to remove them.

“It’s an illegal sign. You can’t just be posting whatever you want on anything that’s in a public right of way,” Trawin said. “We generally look the other way, with the sign bylaw, generally if people put stuff up on the telephone polls downtown, saying this concert or this thing or that thing. Technically, they’re all illegal. You’re not allowed signs in a public right of way, other than during elections. We mostly look the other way because what’s the point? They have their event and they come down.”

As for whether the city will look into who posted the signs, Trawin said it would be a difficult task.

The signs will be removed. If they were to pop up again, Trawin said they will again be removed. In previous graffiti incidents, Trawin noted people eventually get frustrated and stop.

Dwyer, meanwhile, will continue to wonder who is behind the signs and whether they have turned up in other areas of the community.

He said he and his wife, both in their late 70s, recently received a phone call from a group that asked if he needed help.

“I said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Well, we’re a Bible group, a Christian group reaching out to people and they did say words to the effect, ‘We love you.’ I said, ‘No thank you.’

READ MORE: Former Kelowna pharmacist accused of distributing opioids without a prescription

READ MORE: To shut down Snowbirds team after deadly crash would be ‘tragic:’ commander

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Larva of voracious green crab discovered on North Coast

Public asked to retain the carcasses of these invasive species for DNA testing

Prince Rupert wolf attack on man reported on social media unsubstantiated, said COS

Investigation found no evidence of wolf attack on Moresby Trail

Necropsy for Port Edward wolf is inconclusive

Samples sent for forensic analysis; wolf sightings continue; bushes removed at attack site

Seafest parade sails on June 27

Tides are turning during COVID-19 for Prince Rupert parade

Prince Rupert school district fires superintendent

Dr. Irene LaPierre removed from position immediately.

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

“The Great Regional Air Hug” being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Most Read