EDITORIAL: We need a ‘C’ change in Squamish

While “community” and “craft” are popular buzzwords in Squamish, two other C-words bring out the cantankerous and downright crusty among some locals.

Cops and construction workers seem to be the targets of the nastiest comments in town these days.

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This is perplexing given the former protects the community and the latter builds it, literally.

The RCMP should be held to a high standard because they wield a lot of power. And truth be told, traditionally journalists and the Mounties have had a chilly relationship — law enforcement holds information the media often wants made public.

That said, whenever The Chief puts up a story involving the RCMP, the inevitable vitriol follows.

It is unnecessary and reflects badly on the C Squamish residents claim to hold dear — community.

Recently, the Squamish RCMP rolled out some pretty — dare we say  — cool initiatives, that make Squamish safer.

Const. Scarecrow, the life-sized metal officer with the speed gun, aims to slow down those with a lead foot. What an efficient and clever tactic to slow the roll of some who dare to zip through our town or near schools, where kids play.

A Seasonal Policing Unit has also been created. Officers are out and about on a boat, and zipping around on mountain bikes and ATVs this summer.

What could be more Squamish and connected forms of policing?

Criticize law enforcement, sure, when it is warranted. But how about giving kudos where kudos are due?

As for construction workers, the rhetoric around the Britannia work camp and the crews it will bring has been akin to, “lock up your women and children.”

For heaven’s sake.

Are there some bad actors in the construction trades? Likely. Are there drug issues among some who swing a hammer or guide a crane? Sure.

Politicians, entrepreneurs, teachers — heck, journalists — have some bad actors among them, too. But those groups aren’t talked about the way many in Squamish have been speaking of builders.

True, there have been studies that show in culturally insensitive, remote camps trouble has followed.

But isolated locations attract those who want to act badly, out of sight.

We ain’t remote, folks. Not anymore.

In Squamish, a trades person is likely to do yoga and live on a boat — or in a van given our rental situation— rock climb on the weekends or go home to a brood of littles at the end of the day.

Working in construction is a grind, and as we have seen plenty of times during this development boom, it can be dangerous. It takes skill, smarts and grit.

Last year, 589 residential units worth $149 million in construction value were built in Squamish, according to the District.

Look around your home.

Could you have built it?

Probably not.

Let’s check our stereotypes at the door and give cops and construction workers, the same respect we show other community cultivators — like, cannabis sellers and craft brewers.

They deserve no less.

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