Local business facing backlash after its truck was spotted at anti-mandate rally

Feb 7 2022, 10:50 pm

A Vancouver property management company is dealing with backlash after its truck was spotted at Saturday’s anti-vaccine mandate protest.

Orca Realty’s vehicle was adorned with two Canadian flags while it rolled along in the convoy, but the company’s owner said it wasn’t an employee behind the wheel: it was an employee’s husband who took it without asking.

“I guess he has his strong beliefs,” Orca Realty owner Michael Welsh told Daily Hive.

The employee has been removed from Orca Realty’s website and placed on indefinite leave. There’s nothing the company can do to reprimand the husband since he’s not an employee of theirs.

Welsh was at his son’s birthday party when his phone started “exploding” with pictures and questions about why Orca Realty’s truck was there.

Breen Ouellette, a Vancouver-based lawyer, shared a picture of the truck and tweeted his frustration about it.

“The overwhelmingly negative reaction by the good people of Vancouver sends a clear message to businesses: don’t participate in civil disobedience and intimidation in our neighbourhoods. We will take our business elsewhere,” he told Daily Hive.

Welsh said he’s received a lot of hate online since the incident, and believes Orca Realty’s brand has been damaged. He added that he’s fully vaccinated and does not support the demonstration.

“At some point in the past, everybody thought about Orca Realty as people that help buy, sell, and rent homes,” he said. “I hope at some point in the future, we can get back to that instead of this.”

The anti-mandate demonstration took place in downtown Vancouver on February 5, and Vancouver police said they arrested five people. Officers heard reports of fights, cars being kicked, rocks and eggs being thrown, and nails strewn on roads.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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