Saturday is National Health and Fitness Day – Vernon News

People are encouraged to get out and get moving Saturday.

June 6 is National Health and Fitness Day, and Greater Vernon Recreation Services is encouraging all residents to find fun and exciting ways to get up, get out and get active.

Getting exercise isn’t as easy under COVID-19 measures, but officials are reminding people of the importance of getting outside, getting fresh air and getting our bodies moving to care for their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

To provide some inspiration for National Health and Fitness Day, the Greater Vernon Recreation Services team has partnered with various groups to provide a number of ways to celebrate and participate:

Recreation services continues to work with local groups, surrounding municipalities and the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) to develop strategies to provide more recreation opportunities while continuing to follow the guidelines, directives and timeline established by the Province of B.C. and the Provincial Health Officer.

People are encouraged to share pictures and stories with the recreation services team on Facebook.


Vernon city council isn’t expected to make a decision on consumption of alcohol in public places any time soon.

A report to council by staff recommends the city watch the example of Penticton’s pilot project allowing booze in parks, and consult with both RCMP and Interior Health before any decisions are made.

At its last meeting, council directed staff to come back with more information after the matter divided council members on its effectiveness in spurring the economy.

On Monday, staff recommend council simply receive the report, although it remains to be seen if Coun. Scott Anderson and Akbal Mund will butt heads again on the matter.

Anderson pitched the idea as a way to help pubs and restaurants with takeout service. But, Mund countered that such establishments have only just reopened, and encouraging people to bring their own booze to public spaces would further hurt businesses already struggling because of lengthy shutdowns mandated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BC Liquor Control and Licensing Act forbids consumption of liquor in public spaces, but does allow municipalities to designate by bylaw public places where liquor can be consumed. 

There are bears everywhere this year.

North Okanagan Conservation officer Micah Kneller said they have received numerous bear complaints.

“We are getting tons of bear complaints all around the region,” Kneller said. “Way more than the last couple years.”

There have also been numerous posts on area Facebook pages of people spotting bears in their backyards and neighbourhoods.

Several of the pictures showed the bruins feasting on the contents of bird feeders, which can habituate the bear to food source, make them less afraid of people and possibly result in having to be destroyed.

Kneller said bird feeders are a prime attractant for bears and are not necessary this time of year.

“There is plenty of food out there for birds to eat,” said Kneller.

Garbage is another enticing attractant for bears and once a bear becomes used to garbage as a food source, it can not be rehabilitated and must be destroyed.

For more information on how to be bear aware, click here.


A group of Black Lives Matter supporters rallied in Vernon Friday afternoon.

More than a dozen people stood at the intersection of 25th Avenue and Highway 97 as motorists drove by and honked in support.

Co-organizer Celina Galbraith said the rally was to show support for all people who have faced racism and oppression.

“We feel it is important to show we do support people not matter what they look like,” said Galbraith. “It’s important to fight for justice for everyone, because everyone is equal.”

Zara Varney said they were hoping more people would attend, but noted the Vernon group Earth Strike pulled out of the rally earlier in the day.

“But we’re still here to show our support for the movement and we want the world to know we are here and we are fighting for the rights of everyone who has been murdered,” said Varney.

Another BLM rally is being organized for next week in front of the Vernon court house.

A rally in Kelowna earlier in the day attracted several hundred people.

Surrey RCMP are hoping the public can help identify a man who committed an indecent act near a South Surrey beach.

Cpl. Joanie Sidhu said on May 19 shortly after 9 p.m., a man approached a group of young people while he was engaging in an indecent act, near the beach access at 13 Avenue and 131 Street.

“The man ran away when confronted by the group,” said Sidhu. “After other investigative avenues have been unsuccessful in identifying the suspect, a photo is being released to the public in an effort to advance the investigation.”

No additional similar occurrences have been reported.

The suspect is described as a South Asian or Middle Eastern man, with short dark hair, dark facial hair, in his 20s, medium build, and wearing glasses.

Investigators are asking anyone who can help identify the suspect, or has any information about the incident, to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or click here.

A homeowner in the Foothills area of Vernon got a shock Thursday when a bear walked in the open front door of his home and into the living room.

Conservation Officer Micah Kneller said at first the homeowner thought the bear was a dog, but when he saw it was a bruin he made noise and the bear ran out of the house.

Kneller said the bear had been habituated to eating garbage in the neighbourhood, adding they are trying to catch the bear and when they do, they will have no option other than putting the animal down.

Garbage bears cannot be rehabilitated.

“The reason we are where we are at with the bear is people are continuing to leave their garbage out,” said Kneller, adding the homeowner kept his garbage in the garage, but the neighbours do not.

“We are always telling people to put your garbage away and now we can show people this is why. We can’t have bears walking into people’s homes,” said Kneller, adding catching the bear has been a challenge because so many people leave their garbage cans out, the bruin has multiple food sources to choose from.

For years, conservation officers have been telling people to secure their garbage and to put it out only on the morning it is to be collected. Warnings were issued and now COs are starting to hand out fines in an effort to keep bears and people safe.

“It’s law, don’t put your garbage out until the morning of pickup,” said Kneller, but some people store their garbage next to their homes which also attracts bears.

“It needs to be stored in a place where bears can’t get to it.”

Bear-proof garbage cans are one way to keep bears out, but people can also build bear-proof enclosures for the garbage or store it in the garage.

UPDATE 3:18 p.m.

The Black Lives Matters rally scheduled for 3 p.m. today was cancelled.


Activist group Earth Strike Vernon has withdrawn its support for a Black Lives Matter rally in Polson Park this afternoon, and will not be participating.

After promoting the event on social media, Earth Strike pulled its support after criticisms levelled at rallies in Vernon and Kelowna that they were not inclusive of black voices.

The Afro-Caribbean Student Club at UBC Okanagan said it “cannot condone a programme that does not take precedence of black voices.”

“Similar questions began to arise concerning the involvement of people of colour in the Vernon rally, scheduled for the 5th of June,” Earth Strike spokesman Kieran Grandbois said in a press release.

“This decision does not come lightly, but it is a necessary one. The organization continues to unwaveringly and ceaselessly support the Black Lives Matter movement. The pulling of support for this protest comes from a place of support for the wider movement.

“When it comes to this issue, Earth Strike Vernon recognized the importance of listening to a community that one fights for.”

Kelowna’s BLM rally began at noon. The Vernon event is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Polson Park.

Earth Strike Vernon has organized several climate action rallies over the past year.

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