Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu speaks out after Sikh security guard verbally attacked with racist comments

'Enough is enough'

"Enough is enough."

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu, herself a victim of racist acts during her election campaign, is speaking out after video went viral of a Kelowna COVID immunization clinic security guard being verbally attacked by a male spewing racist comments.

Anti-vaccine protester Bruce Orydzuk was caught saying, "You're not a Canadian, you are disgusting. Go back to your country," amongst other remarks to 23-year old Anmol Singh, a South Asian immigrant.

Sandhu called the incident a "vile, disgusting, racist tirade."

"That young man should not have to be accustomed to being treated that way, but for him and so many others, reacting in a calm manner is an all-important survival mechanism we have developed when confronted with racist vitriol," says Sandhu.

Sandhu says the province is working hard to develop and fund anti-racism initiatives.

Sandhu is hoping the Anti-Racism Awareness Campaign and Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network will educate British Columbians on the realities of racism and support local community organizations in combatting it.

"We're also working to eradicate systemic racism in our institutions, from policing, to education, to health care. This is such important work that will move our communities closer to being more accepting, understanding, and safe spaces for everyone," said Sandhu.

"More importantly, as an elected official and as an individual, I need to call out this kind of behaviour. Enough is enough. No one should ever be treated this way, and no one should ever feel like they have a right to treat others in this way."

After the incident at the clinic, Singh says it was difficult to get the words of Orydzuk out of his head.

"It was hard, but I have to be professional. When I went home, I can hear those words again and again. Go back to India. I felt like I wasn't welcome," Singh said.

Sandhu herself was the subject of racist vandalism during her election campaign when several of her signs were defaced and smashed.

“We need to hold our friends, coworkers, and neighbours to a higher standard. And we need to stand together and say that this is not ok,” said Sandhu.

Kelowna RCMP are investigating the incident.

More Vernon News