Becca Shears, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Vanderhoof, B.C. (Facebook photo)

Becca Shears, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Vanderhoof, B.C. (Facebook photo)

Letter: We need dialogue not confrontation

Dear Editor,

I would like to direct this letter to Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen and District Council as well.

I have been saddened to see the Facebook posts from some of the residents in Vanderhoof who are boldly against having every person who resides here feel welcome in this community. As a full-time mental health therapist in Vanderhoof, I have seen many people from the LGBTQ community over the last 5 years. Not once has anyone said they or their LGBTQ family member feels welcome here.

Many initiatives have been hard at work on making Vanderhoof safe for the First Nations people and other visible minorities. Yes, there are ongoing challenges in this area but at least there are symbols around town that honour different communities and the churches on many corners represent the various ways people choose to participate in their religion. But where is our flag?

I once read that bigotry is an individual, interpersonal act of meanness that is directed by a person or a group to another person or a group. These acts can be intentional or unintentional but it’s not the act of being mean that matters, it’s that it is based on the recipient’s racial, ethnic, cultural or sexual identity – or what the bigot thinks is their targets identity. We speak out against racism, we protect children from bullies, and we don’t drink and drive (I hope). And we also allow people to worship however they choose. Jesus said we are to love our neighbours as we love ourselves AND to not judge or you too will be judged. Even if you believe someone is sinning, your job is to love the sinner. If you were not allowed to congregate and worship, if people started vandalizing churches all over town, there would be an uprising. The rainbow (whether it’s painted on 4 corners or painted on a bench or with flags flying at the district office) represents the welcoming and safety to a group of people that is here and living in our small town. Do we really want to be seen as unwelcoming? Jesus hung out with outcasts so he could create a model of not throwing stones. He hung out with who was seen as the morally wrong, the unworthy and the disreputable. Are these people speaking out against the rainbow on the Vanderhoof Facebook page throwing stones without sin? Of course not.

This conversation is not full of grace or patience, we need dialogue not confrontation.

Kind regards,

Becca Shears

(MA, RCC, CCC)

Vanderhoof resident

Letters to the editor

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read