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A local cemetery in Windsor got in some hot water last week over a controversial COVID-19 sign.

Windsor Memorial Gardens, a not-for-profit cemetery, put up a sign reading, "Not vaccinated yet, you may be here soon" last Wednesday.

Ed Shabsove, general manager of the cemetery, told Narcity that the statement was not political or for the cemetery's gain but a community statement.

"I wanted to come across that you, you could possibly die. It wasn't supposed to be humour. It was kind of light-hearted but not humour. And like I said, if one person reads that sign and decides 'You know what maybe you're right, I should get vaccinated,' you know the sign worked."

Joe Mater | Facebook

"You know I'm not trying to be disrespectful to anybody," he said. "Listen I lost my son, I lost my wife and they're both buried in the cemetery. You know what I've got just as much here that I would not want to mock anybody."

Shabsove says he took the sign down on Saturday morning after receiving negative feedback and threats. Although he says, the community response was in favour of the sign with about 60% in agreement.

"I just took it down to stop the controversy. We don't want that here. We have a great community. Our staff interacts with all the people that come in here, and we just want to keep it that way."

"But Friday night, I got a call from my answering service. They were being threatened that they were going to tear the sign down, damage the cemetery, and that was another reason why I took it down because of the threats."

A few years ago, the cemetery put up a similar sign saying, "Texting and driving could land you a spot here in the cemetery," and they faced no negative feedback, according to Shabsove.

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