LETTER: Damaging poster generated unnecessary fear

Letter writer is 'shocked and horrified at what the poster contained.'

Last week I received a Facebook (FB) post from supporters of the Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG) slate members, regarding complaints about a FB post which Mission Voice editor Artur Gryz  had posted on his site. This FB post showed a picture of a house with a number of vehicles parked in front and the writer speculated that it was a meeting to possibly decide who the replacement members of CRMG may be.

There were no people in the photos – just a house and vehicles – but the post did identify some of the vehicles as belonging to several members of the CRMG slate and two other people as well as identifying the home’s owner.

Some rather unflattering comments were made about Mr. Gryz’s character in a FB post. I thought the photo was maybe a bit paparazzi- like but did not really think it was that big of a deal.

In response to these complaints Mr. Gryz very quickly removed the post. I thought some of the comments from the CRMG supporters were over the top particularly those of a “Dave Hensman” who referred to Mr. Gryz in Facebook comments as “creepy, a stalker and sinister,” and vowed to warn his neighbors about Mr. Gryz.

I do not know Mr. Gryz personally nor do I follow his blog, but I do know that he comments regularly on happenings around Mission and local politics. In fact, Mr. Gryz has recently declared his candidacy for councillor in the upcoming municipal election.

Last Saturday, a friend forwarded a copy of a poster which was apparently plastered all around Centennial Park, Neale Drive and the Tunbridge Road area. I was shocked and horrified at what the poster contained.

A large picture of Mr Gryz was on the poster and the language was such that it advised “parents” to tell their “children and elderly” that this man has been “predatorily stalking the neighborhood taking pictures of private yards, vehicles and people.”

It further goes on the advise people that if they see this man in their neighbourhood they need to “call the RCMP.” The language in the poster is such that a reasonable person seeing this is lad to believe that there is a dangerous, possible predator stalking their neighbourhood and that their children are at risk from this man. If I had not just seen all the angry FB posts directed at Mr. Gryz using this exact language I would have been worried myself for the safety of kids in the area.

Is this horrific, slanderous, and fear-mongering poster a response to Mr. Gryz’s  photo of the house and cars?  The language used in the poster is remarkably similar to the Facebook posts.

Not only has Mr. Gryz’s reputation and image been falsely and  irreparably damaged by this, but this poster has also unnecessarily generated much fear and concern among parents and their children in the area. In my opinion the author(s) of this poster should be charged with criminal mischief or creating a public nuisance. As well as unnecessarily frightening people, there has been an expense to taxpayers as panicked parents called the RCMP. This type of malicious behaviour is unacceptable.

Should someone from or connected to the CRMG slate be found to be involved in this tawdry affair then they have lost my vote, as taxpayers of Mission expect better from people who are elected to a position of public trust.

Rosalie Turcotte, Mission