Editors note: District of Invermere councillor Paul Denchuks Letter to the Editor in the October 17th Pioneer and the ensuing response by Columbia Valley RCMP Staff Sergeant Marko Shehovac in last weeks October 24th Pioneer generated the following letters on the topic of RCMP presence in the Jumbo Valley.
(1) Dear Editor:
Councillor Pauls letter complaining about RCMPs presence at Jumbo is pretty strange as its the only obvious place they should expect trouble, besides closing time of the bars. Perhaps he was unaware of the illegal road blockade by Jumbo protesters a while ago, stopping a local heavy equipment contractor from earning his living. As usual, the proponents took the high road and went through the courts and won 100 per cent. This wasted so much time. Its also strange he complains theyre doing last- minute work required of them.
As a former professional skier, I drove gravel roads to Apex, Big White, Todd Mountain and even Whistler in the 60s. All supported later by government highways and turning into successful ski areas creating fabulous jobs and businesses. Again, its called sustainable green, exactly what our dying retail town needs.
John and Pam Nairn
(2) Dear Editor:
As a longtimereader of your paper andobserver ofthe Columbia Valley and its people, I think its long past dueI thank one of the most influential people inthe communityfor the job he does tokeep the place up and running wonderfully, and for the column he contributes weekly.
That person is Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac. His handling of the Paul Denchuk letter Questioning the public value of Jumbo in his most recent column The Facts told me so much, and I believe
everyone in the valley should be proud to haveMarko heading the local RCMP detachment.
It is people likehe who portray apositive effect, earning community respect, when we observehow he and his staff deal fairly and promptly with often difficult situations. My hat is off to you sir.
Alvin W. Shier
(3) Dear Editor:
Its fall in the Columbia Valley; a time for packing up from the busy summer season, reflecting on what has worked and what has not whether you are looking at it from the view of a business person, or a resident evaluating the success of the flower and vegetable patch in the backyard. Personally, I am retired, bought a full-time residence in the valley one year ago, and have been a member of the seasonal population since 1963.
Jumbo Mountain is certainly topical in the valley, just as Whistler and Blackcomb were in the seventies in Vancouver. Then, as now, there were radicals in both camps. Rallies and demonstrations are venues that often see the radical movements in either camp incite physical violence. The presence of the RCMP at the Jumbo rally should be applauded an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. I would prefer they were at the rally rather than attending a barking dog complaint in Radium. Further to that, the area in question falls well inside the detachment area they are mandated to police.
Development companies involved in large-scale developments often require bonds of performance be posted prior to acceptance of any sealed bids from proposed contractors. These bonds often exceed several million dollars; perhaps this is why larger international companies are working on the site.
Radium Hot Springs
(4) Dear Editor:
In response to Paul Denchuks apparent bewilderment as to why a small army of four RCMP officers was dispatched to a location roughly as far away as Fairmont, one only has to take a five-minute glance at Facebook comments made in direct response to a call to action for the rally that Paul Denchuk attended. Im 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 online and elsewhere.
My response to Paul Denchuks 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 that 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. Im personally not comfortable with someone in a position of authority deciding that threats of civil disobedience should not be taken seriously simply because they are onside 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.