Letter from a Red Deer reader shows Vernon is not immune to plate hate amid COVID-19. (File photo)

LETTER: ‘You are not welcome in Vernon’

Albertan shares experience of family members who recently moved to Vernon

Re: Vernon community members.

I am writing to you because I have always enjoyed Vernon as one of many friendly and welcoming communities of the Okanagan region. I am so glad to know that is mostly still very true, even in this unsettling time of COVID-19 infections.

But sadly, there are some who believe they are justified in besmirching your friendly reputation. I have read about the GO HOME messaging happening across B.C. and felt very sad.

I must say knowing that my own family has become a maligned target in what I had hoped and believed would be a welcoming friendly city is very disheartening and hugely disappointing.

The good news is that I hear my grandnephew loves his new job and enjoys the people he is working with at the hospital in Vernon.

His mother and wife are so appreciative of their kind and welcoming neighbours. They are thrilled by the mostly friendly community and the beautiful surrounding countryside. They are happy to have come back home to Canada to live.

The bad news is some people seem to think it is their job to leave notes like “Go back to Texas” on their vehicle. My family has experienced people yelling at them from car windows and ignoring or sneering at them when they say hello. The message from some is clearly: YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN VERNON.

I am asking you as individuals to do what you can to encourage any persons known to be delivering ugly unkind and fundamentally un-Canadian messages, to consider trying to help them be a little kinder and friendlier to your new residents and visitors.

Thank you for considering my request.

Donna Stackhouse

Red Deer, Alberta

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