BC’s provincial health officer addressed disturbing remarks made by conspiracy theorists over the weekend, one of whom wished her dead.
News 1130 reported that flat-earther Mak Parhar streamed a gathering at someone’s home this weekend where one guest said Dr. Bonnie Henry should be hanged. Also in the video, Juno-nominated pianist John Stetch said Henry should go “bleep” herself.
The video is not publicly available on Parhar’s YouTube channel, but clips of it appear in News 1130’s story.
Henry addressed her ill-wishers at a Thursday news conference, saying that hate and death threats towards her are “incredibly challenging” to deal with.
“It really is not acceptable. And what I find most disturbing is how it impacts the people I work with, my family, and my close contacts.”
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But she also offered empathy to those wishing her harm by acknowledging pandemic stress can fuel aggression.
“I recognize that when people are in crises, part of the way they respond is to lash out, to become angry,” Henry said. “That is a reaction that is sometimes fed by certain groups, certain media, social media posts et cetera.”
She doesn’t mean to condone the behaviour of the people who wished her harm, but wants to “recognize that the psychology of what we’re dealing with leads some people to react that way.”
Henry added she has a security system at her Vancouver Island home and checks in with people regularly. She also meets regularly with other top Canadian health officials who sometimes have similar experiences.
Parhar, the man who streamed the video of the illegal gathering where guests wished Henry were dead, has previously been charged for allegedly violating the Quarantine Act multiple times.