Jeff Craig, Julie Hodson and Sasha Striegler Iannone at the Home Hardware store in Vanderhoof on Wednesday, Feb. 23. (Photo by Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Omineca Express)

Jeff Craig, Julie Hodson and Sasha Striegler Iannone at the Home Hardware store in Vanderhoof on Wednesday, Feb. 23. (Photo by Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Omineca Express)

Public outcry after anti-mask incident at Vanderhoof Home Hardware

Residents call for end to ‘harassment’ by anti-COVID mandate activists

Vanderhoof RCMP were called to the scene of an incident at Home Hardware after a man allegedly refusing to wear a mask and smoking inside the business became violent on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Store staff said RCMP apprehended the individual and released him after “a good talking to.”

A Home Hardware employee who asked not to be named said when he was politely asked to put on a mask while in the store the customer refused and began vaping. Another staff member escorted the man outside, and he was restrained until the police arrived.

A small group of Vanderhoof residents gathered outside the store the next day in support of Home Hardware staff, and to call for an end to ‘bullying’ in the community by anti-COVID mandate activists.

Julie Hodson said frontline workers also look forward to restrictions being lifted.

“They’re not setting the mandates and they’re not setting the rules — they’re just abiding by them. If that makes you angry, take that to the polls. Don’t take it to the local shops.”

READ MORE: Anti-COVID mandate protest causes evacuation of Vanderhoof swimming pool


 

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