The Creston man who tore up petitions in Creston businesses on Monday said that the incidents stemmed from misinformation spread about the Pet Adoption Welfare Society (PAWS), which the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) had intended to fund through the alternative approval process (AAP).
The story Bill Cook heard was that the PAWS on-site caretaker was living on the property rent-free with the help of taxpayer funds — in fact, the situation is cost-neutral, with the caretaker’s wage returned in full as rent.
“To my mind, there is a big stretch between the two. … I just couldn’t get over that particular lie, my emotions boiled over and I got stupid,” said Cook this afternoon.
The 62-year-old Cook has volunteered for PAWS for the past six years, and was tired of hearing and defending incorrect information spread since the RDCK advertised the AAP, which it will ask the board to withdraw on Sept. 12. He wanted to make it clear, though, that his actions were his own, not the direction of anyone involved with PAWS.
“It was my idea, bad as it is,” he said.
Cook said he didn’t want to offer excuses, but instead to make amends for his actions.
“I apologize to the people I offended,” he said. “I’m not stuck in the ideologue that, ‘I did it today and I’ll do it tomorrow.’ It was a stupid thing and I lost my cool.”
RDCK Area C and Creston Valley services committee chair Larry Binks did not want to press charges, and asked Creston RCMP to look into the possibility of using the Restorative Justice program.