A man confronts a woman who disrupted an informal Remembrance Day service in City Park on Nov. 11, 2021. The woman was railing against public health orders related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Two months on, Kelowna police continue to investigate the incident.
Kelowna police continue to investigate a Remembrance Day incident in City Park and haven't decided yet whether to recommend criminal charges against those involved.
"This investigation into the disruption on Remembrance Day is still underway," Kelowna RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Tammy Lobb said Thursday in an email.
"Several interviews have been conducted and more are planned," she said. "We are still accepting videos and are asking the public for original videos that people may have recorded that day, not videos they've found online."
Although there was no formal Remembrance Day service on Nov. 11 due to the ongoing pandemic, a large group of people nevertheless gathered to pay their respects in the City Park Cenotaph.
In an event that drew national attention, others opposed to public health orders related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and to the vaccine rollout, disrupted the service.
"As many of us realize, we are in the midst of World War III," one woman said, speaking into a microphone. She was booed and jeered but kept speaking as some told her to be quiet and others tried briefly to take away the microphone.
Some in the crowd were highly agitated by the woman's speechmaking, saying it was particularly offensive and out of place at a Remembrance Day service.
"Why don't you bugger off?" an elderly veteran with a chest full of medals and ribbons said to the woman after striding up to her.
At one point, the crowd began singing O Canada, apparently in an attempt to drown out the woman's speech. Police, who were on hand to observe, eventually stepped in and helped to calm tensions.
Although there was no violence, police said a day later they were investigating the disruption as a possibly criminal matter.
RCMP Insp. Adam MacIntosh said the disruption might have violated Section 176 of the Criminal Code which makes it an offence to wilfully disturb or interrupt a worship service or an event with a "moral, social or benevolent purpose".
"I think that this may have occurred yesterday, and that's the objective of our investigation," MacIntosh said on Nov. 12. But he acknowledged charges are rarely laid under this section of the Criminal Code: "It's not one you see very often."
Whether or not police decide to recommend Crown counsel lay charges, MacIntosh said the decision would eventually be made public, given community interest in the events of Remembrance Day.