by Carrie Boles
I have now met all the political party candidates in the Yukon under the most unlikely of circumstances. On Aug. 27, I was introduced to the final nominee representing the Conservative Party of Canada, Yukon.
First, Ryan Leef, thank you for not pressing charges – I think.
I had the final hours of daylight to escort my cherished flock of protein producers into their coop for the night before I headed out into the crisp air with romantic notions of civil disobedience in my head. I had had a disheartening week and knew that a quixotic adventure would refresh my spirits. I needed the exercise anyway, but knew I wanted to be in bed before 11:30 p.m. As an endurance athlete, late-night jaunts are not uncommon.
OK, obviously the intent this evening required a bit more stealth on my part. “No way am I going to look at these gaudy signs until October!” In all honesty, I just wanted to ensure I could see the trees on my way home. So I decided I would cut out Leef’s name from the signs before putting them back – I like to keep things clean.
So I rode up to the highway on my purple bike “Sancho” to engage in my only and first act, unbeknownst to me, of criminal misconduct, defacing public – er… uh… Conservative Party – property – namely, campaign signs.
I just finished “altering” my third small sign (Yeah, I was licking my lips over that big one!) and was moving onto my fourth when I heard a rumble in the bushes behind me; blind as a bat in the dark and with adrenalin enhanced veins, I thought first of a baby moose. Wishful thinking. Bear? Oh, I hope it’s a baby moose! Do they charge in the dark?
Just then two men came into focus – one balding and dressed all in black, the other in camouflage – and it took a few seconds of toying with words like fascists and big game hunters before the fear truly set in.
I am a 110-pound woman standing on the edge of a dark stretch of the Alaska Highway, as my left arm is being twisted behind my back and my body is being forced to the ground. My final thoughts: “Ouch that hurts,” and the distasteful idea of a potential sexual assault.
Now dear audience, yes I had a knife for my creative venture, but had tucked it away in a side bag. As a gentle spirit, I could not imagine using it as a weapon in any situation, even as obscure and self-defensive as this night could of become. Of course the two men would not have known this as they screeched: “Citizen’s arrest, citizen’s arrest, you are being placed under citizen’s arrest!”
While I never watch television, after spending a few minutes listening to the ridiculous banter over the phone with the RCMP I was lucky enough to recognize Mr. Leef from his voice. Yes, this was in fact the very Leef who moments ago I was gleefully and perhaps symbolically cutting out of sight.
Mr. Leef, I appreciate the suggestion of channeling my energy into work with a political party. I will vote this October for the first time in well over a decade. I feel that each party in the territory fails to fulfill the socialist values that I believe should represent the roots and heart of Canadian culture. In some ways I am mourning for my country.
I am glad that we have representation from the RCMP within a governmental body. My father put in over 35 years before retiring, working side-by-side with the police force and fire department in my hometown of Winnipeg, ensuring a healthy and happy community prevailed for all.
As I knelt, handcuffed in the pouring rain with the local Conservative Party member as my arresting officer – I silently called out to Canadians to vote for a more balanced government this upcoming election. Criminality… terrorism… private police enforcing… surveillance…
Finally, Mr. Leef, while my left arm is pretty sore this weekend, my pride I can heal. Again, I think we all need to change our lenses for this upcoming election. I, personally, cannot wait to be able to afford mine.
I have aspirations too, Mr. Leef, and I am tired of being the bottom feeder of your party’s policies. Every time I look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I want to cry, and I wonder if Canadians are losing their sense of humor – among other things.
Carrie Boles lives in Whitehorse and will think twice about symbolic protest next time round.