A man wearing a face-mask walks past protestors at a rally against COVID-19 public health measures in Creston on Nov. 28, 2020. Photo: Aaron Hemens

A man wearing a face-mask walks past protestors at a rally against COVID-19 public health measures in Creston on Nov. 28, 2020. Photo: Aaron Hemens

Editorial: We Can Do Better

“Residents in town who detest provincial COVID-19 health measures have stayed true to their word in hosting weekly protests against such orders. The RCMP have also stayed true to their word in issuing consequences to anyone who breaks the law.”

Hello Creston, a very happy new year to all! I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing and safe holiday season with your loved ones. I was fortunate enough to have a much-needed week and a half away from work to spend time with my family. I feel recharged and recuperated, but boy did time fly by.

I got back into town on the evening of Jan. 2, so I wasn’t able to go out and gather content for this week’s issue of the Advance. My apologies for the lesser quality of content, but I can assure you that I’m ready to deliver and get back into the swing of things. A big thank you to those who contributed and helped fill the pages with local happenings.

Although we are in a new year, I’m well aware that the challenges and difficulties that plagued our everyday lives in 2020 did not expire at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1. We still have a ways to go in terms of returning to a state of normalcy, but as vaccines continue to be rolled out, I’m feeling optimistic about this year.

On my first day back to work on Monday, I was disappointed to read the police report from Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie. Usually, I get a good laugh out of reading some of the silly calls that the police respond to. But what happened on Jan. 2 is no laughing matter.

READ MORE: Creston Police Report: 86 calls for assistance from Dec. 21, 2020, to Jan. 4, 2021

Residents in town who detest provincial COVID-19 health measures have stayed true to their word in hosting weekly protests against such orders. The RCMP have also stayed true to their word in issuing consequences to anyone who breaks the law: two participants were arrested for obstructing a peace officer, five were issued fines of $230 and the organizer was issued a fine of $2,300.

For transparency purposes, I was not in town when this event took place. Even if I was in Creston, I probably would not have gone — my boss has told me to never cover such an event again after I shared with him some of the comments that I have gotten, specifically one that I received after covering the group’s first event at the end of November. One of the organizers called me afterwords and told me that demonstrators wanted to “metaphorically lynch me” after reading my coverage. You can imagine how disturbed I was to hear this. Yet, said demonstrators want to call themselves “peaceful protestors.”

READ MORE: Creston residents rally against COVID-19 health measure

Such residents are well aware that what they are doing is illegal, that they are breaking the law and that they are putting the health of others in jeopardy. They’ve accomplished nothing in their month-long crusade in challenging public health orders and have only made utter fools of themselves. Yet, many want to pull the victim card and accuse police officers of being Nazis, which is disgraceful, insulting and shameful to those who fell victim to such evil.

Believe me, I hate commenting on this matter. I really do. But the reason why I’m doing so now is because I can’t avoid it, especially when I continue to receive negative comments after sharing this week’s police report. I’ve been called a left-wing socialist and have been accused of sharing a one-sided report, one that I didn’t even write. I wasn’t even in town, for crying out loud.

But this is the reality of the situation. This is not how I wanted to start the new year, but here we are. Creston is better than this. I know it, I’ve seen it. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, but it feels so far away. I find comfort in knowing that we will get there, and I hope that we arrive together, hand-in-hand.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


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