Those are just a couple of the words that readers of “the Fun Pape!” used to describe the free paper’s latest issue, which features misinformation and anti-COVID-19 health regulations rhetoric, which come in the form of paid advertising on its front and back pages.
“The front-line workers — grocery workers, nurses, all of them — deserve so much more than what these people are putting out there,” said Jane, who was granted a pseudonym to protect her privacy and identity.
The Fun Pape is a free leaflet that features classified ads, puzzles and riddles. It is published every other Wednesday in Creston and can be found at a number of retail locations.
On the front page of the Fun Pape’s most recent issue is paid advertisement from Vaccine Choice Canada, who argues that “the evidence does not support masking,” a statement that directly conflicts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s message that masks prevent the spread of respiratory droplets — which is how COVID-19 mainly travels — from reaching others.
Also featured in the advertisement is a statement that reads: “Forced masking violates our Charter Rights and Freedoms.”
However, as outlined by the province’s Emergency Program Act’s (EPA) mask mandate order, masks are only required in public indoor settings, such as grocery and retail stores, restaurants and pubs, libraries and coffee shops.
In November 2020, Staff Sgt. Ryan Currie of the Creston RCMP reiterated to the public that no violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the BC Human Rights Code exists when a store owner bars entry to someone who won’t wear a mask.
“Businesses are not public places. Stores are private property, with an invitation to the public to enter and shop according to the conditions set by the stores (and as required by COVID-19 masking orders),” said Currie. “Simply stated, no one has a legal right to shop in any particular store, subject to human rights legislation that prohibits discrimination.”
The Fun Pape declined the Advance’s request for an interview.
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