In the matter of a few moments recently, Sooke became a frightening place.
A group of angry people gathered outside the home of Sooke chief administrative officer’s home to harass her.
We don’t know who would contemplate such action or even how someone could get so upset to confront her at home.
As members of a community, we are likely to have strong opinions about issues. That is OK. We can debate these opinions and we can criticize opinions. That is OK as well. We can even dislike people’s personalities. That is natural and almost guaranteed in any community.
But when the disagreements turn personal or we act on dislike of a person, that’s where the line is crossed.
When healthy debate turns ugly, such as the idea to invoke fear or threats of physical violence, we cross into the realm of criminal behaviour.
The diversity in opinions, approaches, and experiences is what gives a community its strength and potential. Efforts to minimize that threaten the existence and purpose of the community. It turns the community toxic.
Is this the Sooke any of us want?
Sooke residents like to portray their community as a safe and beautiful place. Unfortunately, this latest incident paints an ugly picture.
Let’s remember, this group confronted Ms. Sullivan at her home, her personal sanctuary, where a person should feel safe.
Take this a step further. If this group disagreed with you, they could potentially come after you. It’s something that must be in the back of many people’s minds: If not Ms. Sullivan, then who?
So far, no one in the group has been identified, but this is a small town and someone knows something. No one should condone this type of activity at anytime. It’s even worse when it is a public official.
We would encourage anyone with any information to contact police.
We all want a Sooke that is safe and we can all feel proud of. We don’t want a community run by hoodlums who chase down public officials – or residents – and invoke fear.
Instead, let’s stand up to these cowards and stand Sooke proud.