Anti-masker targets Vancouver business, leaving staff afraid
VANCOUVER -- The owner of a local camera store said she is overwhelmed by the public’s support after a man stormed into the business berating staff for enforcing the provincial mask mandate.
Linda Hudson, the owner and president of Kerrisdale Cameras, said her employees were shaken up after the incident.
In a video of the incident, the man can be heard complaining that he is being refused service.
“What's amazing is the level of brainwashing that the vast majority of the public are under, walking around in fear because you think somebody you speak to or hug can get you sick,” he said.
The man posted the video to his social media and since then, his supporters have written a few negative Google reviews, sent angry emails and called the store.
Hudson said her workers are afraid of what the anti-maskers will do next.
But the public has also stepped by leaving positive, five-star reviews to overshadow those few bad ones.
Helen Chang, manager of the nearby Faubourg bakery, brought in a box of baked goods for the staff.
“It’s to let them know that we understand what they're going through and that they shouldn't take it personally because that's how people are nowadays,” Chang said.
She said at her cafe, they see one to two people daily who refuse to wear a mask.
“It’s really not our choice to ask people to do these things, to wear a mask,” she said.
In November, the province mandated the use of face masks in public spaces, such as stores, community centres and restaurants. The health order does not apply to those with a medical condition or those who cannot put on or take off a mask on their own.
Those who flagrantly disregard the public health order can be fined $230.
Hudson said her store does serve those who are medically exempt, but this was not one of those situations.
She added police were called, but no officer arrived on scene because the man had already left.
Const. Tania Visintin said officers triage the calls and still encourages businesses to contact 911.
“We are noticing that's happening; people are entering indoor public spaces without a mask,” she said. “If there's any imminent threat, any violence, any weapons shown, please call us.”
Hudson said the local business improvement association has a security company that walks through the area and the security guard will be paying special attention to her store.