Friday, July 10, 2009

Questions that Still Need to be Answered

  1. Did the 3 charged, assult a white male 3 hours later to make it appear they're are not racists to police? What happened between the times of the two assults? Witnesses are needed. Did the 4th man/boy in the dark tank also drive the group of thugs to the scene of the second attack? If so, will he be charged as an accessory by the police?

  2. Why did the RCMP only pickup the orginal copy of the video on the afternoon of Monday, July 13th -- 3 days after the incident.

  3. Why did Courtenay Mayor say his email was flooded Monday morning and then say he was unaware of the attack before he voted on the protocol that same day. I don't know about you, but the first thing I do is check my email the very second I get into my office.

  4. What's the deal with the cheeseburger? Surveillance video or eyewitness account needed from McDonald to verify if Jay Phillips, or associate, bought a cheeseburger from McDonalds before heading to the gym. The 3 charged said publicly, a cheeseburger landed in the bed of the truck. Were police able to recover the alleged cheeseburger?
*UPDATE 11.7.2009* I'm not sure if the police picked the video the morning of the 6th or the afternoon. But i any case it was picked up Monday July 6th, 2009 by the RCMP; which was a day after the video went viral

*response to blog comment*
In regards to question 3 if you visit the city of Courtenay Website there is an explaination from the Mayor on why council voted the way they did. Regardless of the unfortunate timing of this vote being declined, it really is a seperate issue from this most unfortunate and horrific event.

Rhianrider, you're right, the council's vote on the Critical Incident Protocol is completely separate from the attacks that happened on July 3rd. I’ve known that all along.
But, what I’m trying to do with this blog is to have the City of Courtenay and other higher bodies of Government to acknowledge that racism, like the Valley’s infamous undertoned ignorance towards aboriginals, is a problem in our community. And I think the fact that no one on city council mentioned or acknowledged the attack during their vote at 4pm on Monday, is another sign of council ignoring the problem of cultural ignorance in the Valley.

That's why I mention local government so much in this blog, and asking for their statements. I want them more involved in helping solve this problem. The more that people and organizations, such as municipal governments, talk about these issues, the easier it is to find answers and solutions.

The mayor, Greg Phelps, has been quoted by the Globe and Mail to have said, “I really didn't think we had a big issue, and I still don't … I've lived here most of my life and this is the first incident like this I can recall.” I’ve lived here all my life and racism has always been a problem, even if it’s not apparent to the eyes and ears. I even recalled an incident outside of Jiggers Bar about 9 years ago where, allegedly, a racially motivated fight had one young man’s face scared with a broken beer bottle. In that incident, nothing more was said about the fight publically. It created more hate in the Comox Valley when some facts turned into angry rumors, strengthening and reinforcing more racism already instilled in the ignorant.

I’ve only talked about the City of Courtenay to respond to your comment, but there are other civil organizations, bodies of government, and community groups who should take a more proactive role in stopping racism as soon at it starts. These include school boards, worker’s unions, and local authorities to name a few.

There are active groups in the Comox Valley, such as all the ones who have already signed the protocol, that do everything they can to curb hate, discrimination, sexism, and racism to make the Comox Valley a safe place for everyone to live and work. They can’t do it alone, so I urge the city to take the first step and acknowledge that there does exist an undercurrent of racism in the community. In a small defense to the mayor, he was said on record that, “… you always get a few in every town who are really ignorant" to the Victoria Times Colonist. Which, albeit small, is a partial acknowledgement but is short to mention a problem in the city where he was elected mayor, and also where the burtal swarming took place on July 3rd.

Racism is a circle of hate between people and cultures. The cycle must be stopped and I hope the City of Courtenay, its beautiful citizens, and the RCMP will: 1. Acknowledge a problem exists, 2. Talk, educate, live, and understand cultures other than their own, and 3. Speak up when racism occurs. This may include telling your buddy to stop using a hurtfully racial joke because it’s not funny.

Is it the municipals government responsibility to end racism? Not entirely, they should do the best they can while still being able to deals with other problems such as maintaining roads and sewers. However, it is also one of their mandates to ensure public safety. I don’t expect the city to fund programs or anything, there are groups who promote diversity already and are doing a good job at that; the recent Peace Rally is an example. But my issue is with the mayor, Greg Phelps, who I believe does not give race/culture related social issues enough importance. If he did, he should have gone on record to say that we had an undercurrent of racism that lead to the recent verbal provocation of a black man.

More Discussion on Racism in the Comox Valley on the Keep Courtenay Safe Facebook Group:

The Mayor's Message Talks about the Comox Valley Critical Incident Response Protocol:


  1. In regards to question 3 if you visit the city of Courtenay Website there is an explaination from the Mayor on why council voted the way they did. Regardless of the unfortunate timing of this vote being declined, it really is a seperate issue from this most unfortunate and horrific event.

  2. I watched as the Courtenay City Council rejected signing the Justice Committees Protocol for dealing with harassment, intimidation & racism.

    Anneal Datto shared a personal story of racism that he encountered as a young man on a soccer team.

    Mayor Phelps response was "Maybe we should ban Soccer."

    I can see the point that this document may be flawed; the wording may not be perfect and the protocol perhaps redundant.

    Greg and councillors agreed that it's simply a "Feel Good" document. Right now I need to Feel Good! Courtenay needs to Feel Good, We need to feel Safe, and we need to feel part of a community that shares the values of this protocol.

    Stop being so stubborn; in light of these recent events, your reasons don't seem so valid anymore.

    Sign the damned protocol.

    John Van Egmond