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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Head-on collision Jan. 14 claims one life west of Fort St. James

Jenkins said alcohol, as well as road surface conditions, have been ruled out as factors

Nechako River, Vanderhoof, B.C. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Officials keeping close tabs on Nechako River after ice jam causes area flooding

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen, though, said water levels have gone down, for now

Vanderhoof home sees water from the Nechako move up into the yard, and within hours, water was seen up to the deck. Ken Young, Vanderhoof councillor posted this photo on social media.
Mayor concerned about ice jams in the Nechako river

“We have never lived with a frozen river at this magnitude during our time in council,” mayor said.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read