Owners of Bean Scene North yelled at and filmed by men refusing to wear masks

Business faces anti-maskers

A Kelowna business owner is left feeling shaken after three men who refused to wear masks entered her store and began yelling and video taping her and her six-month-old baby.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday that masks are now required in all indoor public and retail spaces across B.C. 

Jennifer West, the owner of Bean Scene North on Ellis Street tells Castanet that just after 3 p.m. on Saturday, three men entered the store without masks.

"They tried to order something and my husband said, 'Oh I'm sorry you actually have to wear a mask,' and they're like 'No we don't wear masks,'" she says.

Her husband then attempted to offer them complimentary face masks to which they replied 'No we don't wear them.' The men were then asked to leave but they refused. 

West was sitting with her baby in the back of the store when her husband came back to get a phone to call RCMP.

"He came back to get the phone and that's when I went out there and they had a laminated Charter of Rights and Freedoms and they're like, 'Have you seen this? Read this. You are infringing on my rights.'"

The men start filming West and her baby with their phones while asking if she was the owner and what her name was. 

West explained it was none of their business what her name was and that they must leave. The men began yelling that they didn't have to leave because it was a public space. She then tried explaining it was not public property and that it was her property and she has the right to refuse service. 

"Now you're just harassing us. You're harassing my staff," says West. 

"They were putting their faces in behind the plexiglass barriers. They are yelling at us. I'm holding a baby at the time and they're still yelling.

"They eventually did walk out, but it took close to five minutes to get them to go, and they told me my business was going to go out of business. There had actually been customers in the store at the time but they left once the altercation started."

The Wests contacted RCMP and locked their doors. RCMP were unable to locate the men. 

"We didn't know if they were coming back cause they were getting really worked up. You never really know what people are capable of."

The three men are described as middle-aged and caucasian. 

"I think that people need to be aware that there (are) people going around harassing other businesses," says West. "I agree with the mask mandate and I think people should be wearing masks absolutely, but I'm just concerned about the safety of some of my fellow small businesses down here."

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