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Posted: October 25, 2014

Who is and isn’t deserving of police protection?

Letter to the Editor

“I think the next step is just to blockade it. I would be willing to go to jail if that’s what it takes.”
“Keep up the resistance”
“Maybe we need to get in front of the heavy equipment.”
“Get goin’ gorilla warfare folks” (I’m sure they meant Guerrilla – but you get the point.)
“If the development goes ahead, there could be confrontation or even bloodshed.”
“Kick some ass.”
“Put sugar in their fuel tanks.”
“If you see Grant Costello – Punch him in the face!”

In response to Paul Denchuk’s apparent bewilderment as to why a small army of four RCMP officers was dispatched to a location roughly as far away as Fairmont – please read the comments above that were gathered from a five minute glance at Facebook. These comments were all in direct response to a call to action to the rally that Paul Denchuk attended. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, Columbo or Horatio but I would suspect that our RCMP detachment may be privy to these very same in-depth investigative techniques and may have also discovered these exact threats and similar intimidating remarks published on-line and elsewhere.

It’s no secret how Paul Denchuk feels about the whole JGR thing – my response to his letter has absolutely nothing to do with any arguments for or against Jumbo Glacier Resort – but I do have to question the motives of an elected official who makes it his business to publicly belittle the efforts of our police force to monitor a potentially volatile situation and who purports to decide who is and who is not deserving of police protection.

Paul Denchuk, as an elected official (District of Invermere Councillor), needs to hold himself to a higher standard yet still chose to publicly broadcast his thoughts in regards to public safety in the October 17 edition of The Columbia Valley Pioneer. I’m personally not comfortable with someone in a position of authority deciding that threats of “bloodshed” and civil disobedience should not be taken seriously simply because they are on-side with those waging the threats.

I am not suggesting that we need to live in a police state – I believe that folks have every right to express themselves however they feel fit, but for every action there is a reaction and when members of the general public have their safety threatened, we need to rely on our police force for protection and we need our elected officials to unequivocally back them up – even if the elected official in question has a personal problem with those at risk.

There is an election coming up and important choices to make. Take a moment to think that next time Paul Denchuk disparages the actions of our police force, you just may be on the other side of his personal agenda and it just may be your safety that’s at risk; is this the person you want in a position to make important decisions like these?

Dave McGrath,


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