EDITORIAL: Oak Bay cull protesters crossed the line

Storming homes of politicians not cool, no matter what the issue

While no vandalism was reported from a weekend deer cull protest in Oak Bay, the fact the group changed course and chose to protest at Mayor Nils Jensen’s home reminded us of two other instances of people taking their fight to political leaders’ homes.

Three years ago, vandals invaded Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin’s yard and spray painted his home and car, in retaliation for the city’s crackdown on camping on Harris Green along Pandora Avenue. More recently, demonstrators opposing the province’s liquid natural gas plans set up a mock three-metre fracking rig on Premier Christy Clark’s front lawn in Vancouver.

Jensen wasn’t home when the marching protesters gathered at his residence, but what if he had been? Would be have been accosted at his front door?

In a community the size of Oak Bay, it’s not unusual for people to know where the mayor lives. In some areas, people know their mayor well enough to visit them at home with questions, suggestions or criticisms.

In general, however, most mayors serve as such when presiding over council or representing their municipality in an official or semi-official capacity. They, like any publicly elected official, have an expectation that their privacy will be respected in the relatively few hours they spend at home with their families.

People who choose to voice strong opposition on issues they are passionate about must be free to do so. But making issues personal and seemingly ignoring the fact regulatory and other decisions are made by groups of people, not individuals, crosses the line of appropriateness for public protest.

In 2011, residents upset with a development in Oak Bay made a show of confronting then mayor Christopher Causton at the municipal hall. Causton promised a town hall meeting and delivered on his promise to further air out residents’ grievances.

That scenario illustrated that when protesters make a point in the right forum, they can be more clearly heard. Not doing so reduces their credibility and only works to cheapen their message.

Just Posted

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

$7 million in funding for waterfront improvements goes to multipurpose building and dog park

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

PHOTOS: Trangender flag raised for first time ever outside of B.C. Legislature

Nov. 20 marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring those who have been murdered

Ocean swim challenge shines spotlight on Crystal Pool plight

Ultra-marathon swimmer sends tongue-in-cheek invite to Victoria council

Saanich mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Most Read