A Kelowna man charged with causing a disturbance stemming from a protest at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in 2021, has argued in court that a media story about the incident unfairly portrayed him as violent and racist.
Bruce Orydzuk, who is defending himself, questioned former Infotel journalist Carli Berry concerning a video she recorded and an article she wrote about the July 13, 2021 incident at Trinity United Church.
Video played in court Friday (July 7) showed Orydzuk asking Berry why she wasn’t reporting on certain COVID-19 issues when a security guard intervened.
Berry had told Orydzuk she did not want to answer his questions.
Orydzuk can be heard on the video telling the guard that “he’s not Canadian,” “disgusting” and that he should go back to India.
“Did you publish an article that I was on a racist tirade?” Orydzuk asked Berry, to which she answered, “Yes.”
He asked her to explain what a racist tirade is and Berry replied she felt his comments fell into that category.
Orydzuk challenged Berry on her statement to police that there was nothing leading up to the altercation that indicated it had anything to do with race.
“That’s true,” said Berry. “But as a journalist, a story often changes a hundred different times depending on the outcome of what you see and when you talk to people. The intention that morning was to grab photos and leave the site. That changed based on what happened at the site.”
Orydzuk then asked if Berry was aware that he had filed defamatory libel suits against her.
“Were you aware that the judge determined that I had provided enough evidence to bring you to trial and issued a summons compelling your appearance to court to face those charges?”
Berry replied she was not.
“Are you aware that the Crown stayed to two charges against you with no reasons provided? Orydzuk asked.
“I have no awareness of that process,” she said.
Orydzuk then asked if Berry wrote the article to cause him harm.
“No,” she replied.
Crown prosecutor Kevin Short asked that four more days be added to the trial as he has several more witnesses to call.
When the trial will continue will be determined Friday, July 14.