‘Go home’: Alberta-registered vehicles vandalized in B.C. border town amid COVID-19

Many have taken to Facebook to complain that their vehicles have been targetted during COVID

While COVID-19 restrictions are being loosened across B.C., and the rest of Canada, there are still strict limitations on travel.

As of May 19, Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend the ban on non-essential travel across the border by 30 days while urging Canadians stay close to home and avoid non-essential travel interprovincially.

However, some continue to travel within Canada and there is some lingering resentment to those who decide to cross provincial borders.

ALSO READ: Interprovincial travel ban an unlikely response to combat COVID-19, B.C.’s top doctor says

As a border town, Golden is no stranger to visitors from Alberta, but attitudes have shifted to reflect the stay at home orders necessitated by COVID-19. Some have taken these orders to heart, with owners of Alberta-plated vehicles taking to Facebook to complain of notes being left on their windshields, as well as vandalism and damage to their cars.

The problem? Many of them are residents of Golden or Area A.

“I’ve lived here for 15 years, it’s been a good town, I’m raising two kids here. I’m not from Alberta,” said Jessica Ann Sofie Grey, who took to Facebook last week to raise awareness on this issue.

“We’ve always had B.C. registered vehicles, but right now I’m driving a borrowed vehicle from my mother-in-law who resides in Alberta.”

READ MORE: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

Grey was shocked to find a note that demanded she “go home” stuck to her vehicle, which has Alberta plates, after shopping at IGA last week.

She wants it to be known that there are plenty of reasons that someone could have a car with Alberta plates while maintaining residency in Golden.

“You don’t know the reasons someone is driving an Alberta registered vehicle, which is why I posted on Facebook,” said Grey.

“I was shocked, I was a little bit oblivious that something like this could happen.”

After the long weekend, she said her experience has led her to contemplate parking her car and biking to avoid another incident. She says she has heard of other people with Alberta plates doing something similar.

“You never know what people are gonna do, are they gonna throw eggs or rocks at you?” she said.

Grey firmly believes that even if she were from Alberta, that’s no excuse for someone to leave the note, or to a further extent, vandalize a vehicle.

As a tourist town, she stated Golden relies on its reputation for being warm and friendly to attract out of province visitors.

“We don’t want someone to remember us like this, we don’t want people to remember us for being rude,” said Grey.

Grey wants to spread awareness that this isn’t the way to handle travel and tourism during the pandemic. She had no idea how involved the community would get when she made her post on Facebook and said she appreciates the messages of support she has gotten.

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