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VIDEO: Charges laid in connection to incidents at Kelowna COVID-19 protests

Kelowna has seen a number of COVID-19 protests over the past two years and even as restrictions have eased, charges continue to be laid against demonstrators who 'crossed the line' of peaceful protest.

The Kelowna RCMP provided updates this afternoon regarding two separate COVID-related protests that sparked outrage across the nation in 2021.

Investigations were launched into both disturbances, and with assistance from the BC Prosecution Service, two individuals have been approved for criminal charges.

The first incident occurred at a vaccine clinic on Springfield Road on July 13, 2021.

Officers were called to the clinic at Trinity Church to deal with a number of protestors who were allegedly preventing people from entering the healthcare centre.

One of the protesters, who has now been identified as 60-year-old Bruce Orydzuk, was caught on camera hurling a number of racially-motivated remarks at a security guard who was asking him to leave the property.

A full investigation was launched by the Kelowna RCMP and on April 7, 2022, Orydzuk was charged with causing a disturbance.


In a separate COVID-19-related protest on Nov. 11. 2021, at an unofficial Remembrance Day ceremony, protesters were seen causing a scene at the Kelowna Cenotaph in City Park.

Demonstrators allegedly interrupted the assembly and RCMP officers were called to keep the peace.

The incident sparked a criminal investigation, and on April 12, 2022, the BC Prosecution Service approved a criminal charge of disturbing certain meetings, contrary to Section 176(2) of the Criminal Code, against 56-year-old Linda Jackson.

Insp. Adam MacIntosh with the Kelowna RCMP said that the charges laid against Jackson are extremely rare as they relate to the obstruction or violence of an officiated clergyman.


“We support a person’s right to protest but it is not absolute," said MacIntosh. "I want to thank the hard work of our investigators to bring these cases before the BC Prosecution Services and the courts."

Jackson is set to appear at the Kelowna Provincial Court on May 19, while Orydzuk is scheduled to appear on May 26 in relation to his charge.

It’s unclear what penalties both these individuals will face once they appear in court.



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