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Burnaby byelection candidates ‘inundated’ with COVID-19 conspiracy theories, want it to stop

Letter issued to media says candidates won't be commenting on COVID-19
COVID-19 infected blood sample in sample tube.

Candidates in the June 26 Burnaby byelection say they’ve been “inundated” with calls and emails and messages from COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and others.

Now they want it to stop so they can focus on the real issues in the election.

The NOW received a letter from candidate Martin Kendell on behalf of some of the other candidates saying that some people have crossed the line when it comes to questions from the public.

“Recently, we have been inundated with phone calls and emails from certain members of the community who are looking to lecture us about conspiracies and misleading information involving the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-mask rhetoric, anti-vaccine falsehoods and occasionally engaging in various racist, anti-LGBTQ and/or misogynistic behaviour while doing so,” reads the letter. “Canada is a wonderful country where free speech is allowed and different viewpoints are encouraged, but this kind of behaviour crosses the line as far as the expected boundaries that we would have as private citizens who were nominated to take part in the democratic process.

Effective today (June 18, 2021), we will not be commenting to any members of the public regarding any COVID-19 matter. The federal government, provincial government and various health agencies are responsible for the response to this infectious virus, and we feel it is disingenuous to question their efforts which they were making in real time with the limited data they had available to them. It is also insincere to the many people around the world who have been stricken with this virus, or have lost relatives, friends, coworkers and acquaintances to this pandemic.

We are happy to answer any questions that involve municipal issues, and look forward to the opportunity to do so.”

General voting day is on June 26 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • Alan Emmott Centre
  • Alpha Secondary School
  • Bill Copeland Sports Centre
  • Bonsor Recreation Complex
  • Brentwood Park Elementary School
  • Burnaby North Secondary School
  • Burnaby South Secondary School
  • Byrne Creek Community School
  • Cameron Recreation Complex
  • Cariboo Hill Secondary School
  • Charles Rummel Centre
  • Confederation Community Centre
  • Edmonds Community School 
  • Forest Grove Elementary School
  • Montecito Elementary School
  • Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
  • South Slope Elementary School
  • University Highlands Elementary School
  • Wesburn Community Centre
  • Willingdon Community Centre