The passing of Bonsai Bob was both tragic and sad. Upon that, I think we can all agree. But Sooke is a good community, full of kind and compassionate people. It’s a great place to live, not the backdrop for a Spaghetti Western. Despite what you may have read last week, nobody gets run out of town by the Police. I applaud the Sooke News Mirror for bringing attention to this issue, in the hope that potential victims of child sexual abuse, past, present and future, might feel less isolated and more supported.
The men and women of the Sooke RCMP Detachment are proud people with good hearts, just like you. To suggest that they are “brutalistic, heavy handed” thugs is malicious and irresponsible, even if it was a suggestion made out of exasperation at the loss of a friend. There is no value in perpetuating that kind of fear mongering. They are residents of this community who make honesty, integrity, compassion, accountability, professionalism and respect, defining descriptors of their vocation, which just happens to include dealing with inhumane atrocities in a humane manner, on a routine basis. I can assure you that whenever they receive complaints from fellow citizens, they approach the situation with the utmost compassion for the alleged victim, while equally respecting the rights of the alleged perpetrator, no matter how reprehensible the allegation may seem. In the subsequent investigations, they decipher what they believe to be the truth based on the facts at hand, and then those facts are forwarded to Crown Counsel, who either decline or approve a charge based on what can be proven in court.
The life of Bonsai Bob came to a tragic end last week, and ending with it was any chance that the truth might come out in court. It also negated the hope that the children who were allegedly victimized in this situation might gain some closure as result and be able to m ake peace with the past so that they could go on with their lives. While Bob’s passing was very sad, let’s remember that we are all guardians, responsible for the safety and innocence of our community’s children. It takes a great deal of courage for a child to risk embarrassment, humiliation and public scrutiny in coming forward with such a disclosure. When they do, we need to support them. Imagine if it was your child.
This letter and one on page 13 are in response to the editorial of Feb. 27. No more letters will be printed on this topic.