Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson says she was forced to run after being approached on Friday by two people who became aggressive over B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine policies.
Anderson said the incident occurred as she and one of her staff were returning from Creston to Nelson and had taken a break at a highway rest stop. A car approached them, and the driver and passenger began verbally assaulting the pair.
“At first I was trying to answer some of the questions that they had, and it just got really elevated really quickly,” said Anderson.
Anderson said her staff member stepped forward to end the conversation and then the pair began walking back to their car when they realized the other vehicle was driving toward them.
“We were worried that they were going to block us in or not let us leave, so at that point, we started running towards the vehicle.”
Anderson said the pair left their car to approach, at which point she drove away. They were not followed.
RCMP confirmed they are investigating the incident.
Anderson said she has since received three emails from the driver, which she characterized as misogynistic and abusive.
The incident occurred the same day provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new COVID-19 restrictions to head off an expected surge in cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Anderson said the aggression she encountered is the same that has been faced by other politicians, health-care workers and business owners.
“I understand that people are frustrated, but in order to move forward we need to be able to have respectful dialogue, especially on issues that are challenging.”
It’s the second time this month a Kootenay MLA has had a negative interaction with the public.
Kootenay-West MLA Katrine Conroy was knocked down walking home from the B.C. Legislature on Dec. 7. Victoria police have said it isn’t clear if the assault is connected to her role as the forestry minister.