A cop with attitude
It is just over a month since we had a chance to travel to the Yukon from PEI and watch our 14-year-old daughter in the 2007 Canada Winter Games.
It was an eventful trip out as we were held-up in Halifax an extra day as a storm passed over Eastern Canada.
We arrived at midnight and were met by our very gracious host who was providing our accommodations.
She gave us a quick rundown of the city and dropped us off at our basement apartment.
Our Games experience was incredible. Whitehorse did a fantastic job in all aspects of hosting the Games. From the great organization of the venues we attended, to the volunteers who seemed to always be smiling and available for questions.
The non-official volunteers — all the great citizens of Whitehorse, made us feel welcome and on two occasions drove us to places that we were trying to find on a map.
They were passionate about their community in a humble way and seemed genuinely happy that the rest of Canada was coming for a visit.
Well done and kudos to all the people of the Yukon who supported this event! It was northern hospitality at its best.
There was only one negative experience that I feel is important enough to bring to the public fore, through this letter.
On March 7, we had an evening to visit with our daughter and take her to some different Games venues.
Our host had kindly provided use of their second vehicle for us to have more flexibility in getting around.
We met our daughter downtown and attended the activities at the Games centre, then took her and a friend back to the athletes’ village, which we had not visited prior to this evening.
After dropping our daughter off, we made our way back downtown. We were pulled over on the Range Road by an RCMP officer where an apparent video operation was setup.
He asked if I knew why I was being stopped and I told him that no, I did not know.
He informed me that I had failed to stop and asked for my driver’s licence, registration and insurance.
My expectation was that he would attempt to make me feel comfortable by asking some questions about PEI, the Winter Games or anything at all — including the condition of snowy and icy roads and our experience driving in a new area.
Instead, I was met by arrogant indifference and a smug attitude he cut me off when I tried to ask questions about the circumstances of being written a ticket — which would be my first in 25 years of driving.
If I have broken a traffic law, I should and will pay for this offence.
If I had blatantly broken a law with disregard for public safety, I may have deserved the treatment handed out by the constable.
But my fellow passengers, my wife and mother-in-law, were as taken aback, as I was, at the constable’s lack of professional conduct.
Everyone has a bad day and working for the RCMP would likely include many tough ones.
I decided to give it a few days and then to go down to the detachment and see the constable in a more neutral situation.
When I asked to see him and tried to begin a conversation, I was met with that same arrogance and rudeness that I had previously experienced: with comments like “your video turned out really well” and “you’re one of the worst offenders” — and that was in-lieu of “Hi, how are you doing today?”
I was stunned.
I have had the chance to work in Stay in School Partnerships with both city police and RCMP officers. The common bond in almost all of them was the ability to put you at ease, which I expect is standard training when dealing with people in potentially uncomfortable situations.
Once again, I want to thank the good people of Whitehorse for their kindness and showing the rest of Canada some amazing northern hospitality.
To the rude constable, I would suggest taking some training in basic manners and human relations.
St. Ann’s, PEI