Do we care about accusations of RCMP wrongdoing?
And I explain the alien lights and talk about snow umbrellas. Read to the end for something I truly do not understand
February started with news that five RCMP officers will stand trial for the death of an Indigenous man in Prince George — two for manslaughter and three for obstruction of justice, as people who witnessed the arrest were allegedly told by police to delete the footage of it. And the month is ending with the province ordering a new investigation into allegations that RCMP officers in the city harassed Indigenous teenage girls and then failed to properly investigate when video allegedly showing that harassment on tape went missing.
And the public reaction in the city to these two rather explosive news stories is, as far as I’ve seen, basically non-existent.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen a single statement from an elected official representing the city on either of these issues. Nothing from our MPs, nothing from our MLAs, nothing from mayor and council. After the manslaughter charges were announced, the city did boost the police budget and I didn’t hear this come up once during debates.
And it’s not just politicians: The story of the province ordering a new investigation into the abuse allegations was printed in local media outlets on Friday, and it didn’t crack the top five on either the Citizen or CKPG’s most-read stories list. I’ve barely seen it posted on social media. I have seen far, far, far more discourse about the fact people are sleeping in tents on 1st Ave. (and not in a sympathetic, we-should-help-them way) than I have about the fact that multiple RCMP officers who have worked and may still be working in the city have been accused of — and in the earlier case, charged with — major crimes. People have spoken to me privately about it, but there have been no editorials, no letters to the editor, no grappling with this informatation when deciding whether to raise taxes to pay more for the police force who hired and continues to pay for these officers. I’m not saying there should be protests or defund-the-police movements, but — hear me out — maybe some acknowledgement it has happened?
I get it’s uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable writing this, if I’m being honest. But it’s also true. Ian Mulgrew in the Vancouver Sun spoke to the sister of one of the alleged victims of RCMP wrongdoing in the city 20 years ago, who says the accusations were “swept under the rug” by police back then and she’s hopeful it won’t happen again. We’ll see.
Wait, do we not keep snow records?
Did you notice it snowed? At least the weather is that good winter level now, where you can actually enjoy it. I got out on snowshoes on Saturday and skied out of my driveway on Sunday. And while it was a lot of snow it wasn’t enough for DoorDash to shut down delivery services here, apparently:
Weirdly, though, Environment Canada apparently doesn’t measure snowfall?? At least that’s according to this article from My PG Now:
According to Environment Canada Meteorologist Bobby Sekhon, it’s not quite clear just how much snow fell on Saturday.
“We stopped keeping records for snowfall at Prince George in about 2009, so we cannot say if this was a record snowfall or not because we do not have the official measurements,” Sekhon said.
“It’s been hard for the [automatic stations] to pick that up, all they can pick up is the snow on the ground, and I know the snow on the ground, it changed by about 15 centimetres, but that doesn’t take into account ant drifting snow, compacting snow, that kind of thing.”
Except last week Environment Canada posted about the amount of snow that fell in the city so… I’m confused?
Here are a few more good posts about the weather:
So a few years ago I started noticing people using umbrellas in winter and tried to figure out if it was a new thing or not. I felt like it was but when I started asking people using them when they started, they said they’d been doing so for years — although many were not from the city.
All that said — it’s a good idea! It wouldn’t do much for you on a day like Saturday, when the snow was blowing sideways but on a day where it’s a wet, soak-through-your-tuque snow, I say go for it.
Where are people without shelter supposed to go on Sundays?
And while we’re on the topic of how we deal with winter, this is an issue:
Light pillars, not aliens
I also saw this post and had to bring back an article I wrote a few years ago about the phenomenon of light pillars.
Here’s what else is going on:
Good article about what getting a vet school at UNBC would mean for the region’s veterinary crisis. It wouldn’t solve everything!
In perhaps not great news for the goal of getting more people living downtown, an unfinished apartment building on Quebec — across from the new pool — is for sale. Asking price is $15.9 million.
There are two major expansion to the hospital planned — and local taxpayers could be expected to contribute $264 million to make it happen. Northern Health says they are still in the planning stage.
A report going to city council on Wednesday says the city needs to hire 32 more firefighters and open a new fire hall in the BCR site due to “almost stunning growth in local call volume.” Part of this is fire calls but there are also medical calls impacting firefighters — something I wrote about here. The report itself is pretty interesting and I’ll probably pull at it more later this week.
At council tonight, the city is looking for funding options for a new refrigeration unit for the ice rink in the Elks Centre — one of the few city facilities in the Hart.
A disabled Prince George woman is still fearful about leaving her home, months after she was hit by a city bus while crossing the street in her mobility scooter.
The Jeane Clarke history awards were announced, with Lheidli T’enneh member Jennifer Annais Pighin and Elder Edie Frederick winning the Service Award for their work preserving Dakelh language and history.
Also, a portable bar has been nominated for two provincial small business awards.
A few local athletes won medals at the Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown.
Reddit helps track down local pool tables and places to shower if your water goes out.
Finally, what on earth is this?
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Andrew, well asserted; agree: "Do we care about accusations of RCMP wrongdoing?" I encourage you to submit this to the PG Citizen as an opinion piece. Let's get comfortable with being uncomfortable - a space where we learn the most about ourselves.