Whose side is the Vancouver Police Department really on when it comes to antimask rallies in our city?

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      Antimaskers are gathering at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach today for their third rally in three weeks.

      This time, there will be people with law-enforcement experience participating rather than simply standing around in uniform observing the festivities.

      Vancouver police have remained on the sidelines even as these antimaskers have repeatedly put on unlicensed events where participants don’t wear masks and remain in close proximity to one another.

      At times, volumes have exceeded 85 decibels and parking rules have been ignored as these events continue on into the night.

      Some Vancouver health workers have created an online petition urging police to take action, but that’s been ignored by the VPD.

      Today’s speakers’ list includes retired Peel Regional Police auxiliary constable Rob Carmichael, who is part of a right-wing group called Police on Guard for Thee.

      The speakers' list mentioned another member, "Herb Mayo", who is not on the group's website. However, retired B.C. deputy sheriff Bert Mayo is a member of Police on Guard for Thee.

      Get this: this group’s mission is to “repair and regain public trust which is being damaged and lost due to the enforcement of Emergency measures”.

      You read that correctly—there are current and retired police officers, as well as other law-enforcement officials in Police on Guard for Thee, who oppose enforcement of public-health orders.

      This is the case even though these measures enhance the safety of health workers, cancer survivors, and people with Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions that put people at greater risk of COVID-19.

      Unlike the Kelowna RCMP, the Vancouver police have refused to fine the organizers of these events. Is it any wonder that some antimaskers see the cops as their allies?

      Cynics might question whether the VPD is basically saying to hell with Sir Robert Peel’s famous principle that police seek and preserve public favour by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

      By not fining organizers of events that jeopardize public health, it’s reasonable to conclude that the VPD is siding with the same types of antimaskers that Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has repeatedly described as “idiots”.

      When is this nonsense going to end? And why isn't Vancouver city council passing a motion condemning the VPD for not fining the organizers of events that continue to threaten the health of downtown residents week after week after week?