“Something is very, very wrong” when a candidate for council feels intimidated and rethinks his decision to run, says Mission Coun. Nelson Tilbury.
Posters targeting potential Mission council candidate Artur Gryz went up around the Tunbridge Avenue neighbourhood last month.
Tilbury reported the incident to police on Sept. 26.
“I received a bunch of information regarding a particular incident that happened a couple of weeks ago and I found myself in the RCMP station Friday morning filing a complaint and turning over all the information,” said Tilbury on Monday night during a regular Mission council meeting.
Tilbury later told The Record he was “bent out of shape” by the incident, and he left the annual Union of BC Municipality convention in Whistler Thursday night in order to launch a complaint the next day.
Tilbury presented police with posts and comments on Facebook regarding the incident, and told them about what he knew.
About two hours after leaving the RCMP detachment, Tilbury received a call from police telling him the issue had been resolved.
“They didn’t say how it was resolved and I still don’t believe it’s resolved,” said Tilbury. “I can’t believe someone would do this to someone … and deny it.”
The posters carried a photo of Gryz and a message advising parents to tell their children and elderly residents about a man “predatorily stalking” the neighbourhood and to call RCMP if anyone sees him.
Gryz, who works as a realtor, confirmed police were at his door on Sept. 19. Gryz told the constable he believed the posters were put up in response to a photo he took earlier in the week. While standing on public property, Gryz took a picture of vehicles parked in a private driveway. He posted it on his Facebook site and queried if the individuals associated with the vehicles would make up Mission’s only slate – Citizens Responsible for Municipal Government (CRMG) – in the upcoming municipal election. Mayor Ted Adlem, and Couns. Dave Hensman and Coun. Larry Nundal are original members of CRMG.
Gryz was assured by the RCMP he didn’t break any laws taking the photo and the constable followed up with residents in the area who had called police to report Gryz.
“The individuals were told (by the Mountie) that I am not a threat to our community,” said Gryz.
Last week, Mayor Adlem confirmed that Hensman, who is a resident in the neighbourhood, met with the RCMP.
Police acknowledge they have a file concerning posters but will not confirm or deny details.
Hensman was in Pakistan last week and did not respond to requests for an interview. He also declined to comment on the incident this week.
“Any comments I may or may not have will come out in the Mission Messenger,” said Hensman.
The Mission Messenger is an election flyer produced by CRMG.
Last week, Adlem told The Record that CRMG had no part in producing or distributing the posters. Coun. Larry Nundal reiterated Adlem’s comments this week.
“We’re being accused of something we didn’t do,” said Nundal.
In a YouTube video posted last week, mayoral candidate Tony Luck called the posters a “character assassination,” and this week, Coun. Jeff Jewell is asking on a separate YouTube video he posted why other candidates in the upcoming municipal election have been silent on this issue.
Jewell called on all candidates to speak out against the poster incident.
Jewell, Tilbury and Luck are former members of CRMG who became independent councillors during their term.
Last week, Gryz told The Record he felt threatened by the poster incident, and as of Wednesday had not decided whether he will still run for council.