Billboards bearing anti-vaccine messaging scatter the side of Highway 97 in West Kelowna.
Residents took to Twitter Friday (Nov. 5) posting photos of the new signs and airing their concerns.
One sign questions whether the ‘cure’ to COVID-19 is worse than the illness, then prompts passersby to visit an advertised website. Another questions whether masks, distancing and lockdowns are working.
Although the billboards stand on Westbank First Nation lands, the nation confirmed they had no part in the messaging. The majority of billboards on WFN land, they explained, are on privately held lands then leased to billboard companies, who would then deal with advertisers.
They said any advertisements on billboards would be subject to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, administered by Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), and that “Any concerns regarding messaging or advertisement on billboards should be directed to the ASC for their review.”
According to BCBillboards website, which appears to be the company that rented the space, any graphic whatsoever may be used on their rented billboards, as long as it is not offensive.
In response to the signs, Interior Health cautioned the public.
“Interior Health hopes that the public will rely on trusted and accurate public health information, such as that provided regularly by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Interior Health medical health officers and the BC Centre for Disease Control,” read a statement from the health authority.
Anti vaxxer group spent some coin on these new digital billboards in West Kelowna. pic.twitter.com/LSCvvrh86z
— Hello Kelowna (@HelloKelowna) November 6, 2020
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