Kelowna protestors donned yellows vests as part of the anti-government international movement Saturday along Highway 97. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Yellow vest movement protesters rally in Kelowna

Kelowna residents donned yellow vests Saturday as part of the worldwide yellow vest movement

A group of around 60 people who claim to be members of the international “yellow vest” movement gathered in Kelowna Saturday and protested immigration and carbon taxes, among other things.

The local yellow vest wearing protestors say they are taking their cue from vest wearing protesters in France, who started demonstrating Nov. 17 after the French government planned to increase a fuel tax. Even after the plans to increase the tax were revoked, protests continued.

Last weekend, protesters rallied in Vernon outside of the courthouse.

This weekend, Kelowna residents gathered along Highway 97, encouraging cars to honk in order to show support for the movement for the second weekend in a row.

Kevin Proteau, a Penticton resident, travelled to Kelowna to join the protest.

“A lot of the issues are (around) globalization, it’s not working for the people,” he said, adding illegal immigration will cause Canada to become a third world country.

“You see bad things already happening in countries (with illegal immigration.)”

He’s not against immigration, he said, but immigrants have to follow due process.

Proteau is also opposed to carbon taxes he said it’s a tax on regular people when large companies are the main cause of pollution.

He also doesn’t believe that carbon dioxide is the main factor in climate change and said big companies are the reason behind it.

READ MORE: UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning

However, “numerous scientific studies and government reports calculate that greenhouse gases in the big picture account for more than 90 per cent of post-industrial Earth’s warming,” according to The Canadian Press.

Kelowna resident Don Shewchenko has been waiting for a yellow vest protest to be held in Kelowna.

“We’re tired of open borders, we’re tired of mass migrations… we’re tired of spending money,” he said. “Carbon tax is a waste of time, what can I say, every tree needs carbon.”

He said UN reports on climate change have a private agenda. In October, a UN report cited the need Canada to undergo a drastic cut to carbon emissions in order to prevent a catastrophe.

READ MORE: Canada needs to cut its emissions almost in half: UN

The protests have been ongoing in Kelowna for the second weekend, and plan to continue next week.


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