The head of the Winkler Police Service has issued an online statement regarding tensions in the community around public health orders and COVID-19 vaccines.
At long letter online Posted on the Winnipeg Police Service Facebook page on Saturday, Chief Ryan Hunt said the situation in the community has escalated to a point where he can no longer remain silent.
“Something has to change. The anger and resentment that we are seeing in our community is unacceptable. We are better than this, ”the statement said. “This great community didn’t get great by acting like we do today. We are allowed to have different opinions, but we must not let them divide us. “
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Hunt went on to say that he has seen anger towards business owners, law enforcement personnel and police officers, and urged residents not to confront police officers.
“Overall, the animosity in this community that has arisen during this pandemic has crippled our integrity,” the statement said.
Winkler Mayor Martin Harder echoed the sentiments in the letter.
“If I hadn’t known better, I would have said that I could have written it myself,” Harder told Global News.
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“He lives it every day, I live it from a different perspective, from the mayor’s perspective. But he has his boots on the ground with the people he has to deal with who refuse to obey, refuse to be considerate of others.
“It is not simply a protest, I think it has gone further. And it’s just that you don’t care about the community, you don’t care about others, you only care about yourself. “
Harder says it’s disheartening to see the community divided and in a negative light because of a small and noisy minority.
“It hurts me a lot to see a community that has become clouded,” he said, adding that everyone should come together.
“The message I would like to say is that it is time to stop focusing on ourselves, but to focus on others and how we can help overcome this.”
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The division in southern Manitoba could influence federal elections
Political analysts say the division between some communities in southern Manitoba could have an impact at the polls in Monday’s federal elections, particularly in the traditionally conservative districts of Provencher and Portage-Lisgar.
“I think we’ll see surprisingly high numbers from the People’s Party in those two districts,” Probe Research partner Mary Agnes Welch told Global News.
Welch said Conservative Portage-Lisgar candidate Candice Bergen has been campaigning more actively in this federal election, indicating there may be some concern about the loss of some voters to the People’s Party of Canada.
“Traditionally, that’s such a safe conservative seat,” Welch said. “Parliamentarians like Candice tend to be deployed in other parts of the country, but this time there is this type of movement among the Popular Party that will really eat up its majority.”
Welch also says that federal election results could indicate just how big the divide is in southern Manitoba.
“The question is: How high? Is it really 10 or 12 percent of the voters? [that will vote PPC] or is it 25 percent? Maybe it’s that strong [minority] that we hear, but maybe that minority is a little bigger than we originally thought. “
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