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OCN councillor speaks on hate speech incident

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This past weekend three Flin Flon people were charged with uttering threats and public incitement of hatred following some comments they made online referring to Indigenous people.
The incident was sparked when one of the women returned home to find her car and home vandalized, having been the target of graffiti and spray paint. Afterwards she went online and started talking about revenge including suggesting there be a “shoot an Indian Day” while others who commented on her thread had similar comments including the second woman charged who talked about a “24 hr purge.”
Afterwards it went viral in online Indigenous groups as well as the Flin Flon and The Pas area with Flin Flon RCMP eventually stepping in to make arrests Tuesdays.
The quick reaction on the part of the RCMP in charging these three women was praised by many in helping discourage this kind of behavior.
“I was really pleased with it because it’s not just for those perpetrators but for everybody in Flin Flon and Manitoba that these things aren’t tolerated because you get in trouble, and there is a lot to protect people in that kind of inciting of violence. The law is there, we have to enforce the law and I’m really pleased with that the police did,” said Edwin Jebb, Councillor on OCN Chief and Council.
He also said this sets a good precedent for those thinking that this behavior seen frequently in the United States is ok in Canada.
“It is dangerous; it can escalate and have a domino effect if it’s not dealt with immediately. It can escalate and theoretically it can escalate the violence which is no good. We see that happening south of the border in incidents like that, we got to use all our resources including legal resources to stop them, which is what the police have done which is a good thing,” Jebb said.
Jebb also said that incidents such as this does sometimes happen in The Pas and area but added that it’s a learning process and the best that one can do is to help educate others.
“It happens sometimes but what I try to do is to try and educate people, that these things are not permissible,” he said, adding, “The lessons to be learned here is that you can’t do that. There are certain things that are not permissible, according to morality and according to the law.”
It’s better to remain positive he said however and reinforced the need to help educate others in sensitive situations such as this.
“I look at the positive things; racism happens and it’s being dealt with, I look at it in a positive way. The positive way is educating them and if necessary charging them, the people who do that.”
Requests for comment were made to OCN Vice-Onekanew Jennifer Flett and MLA for The Pas Amanda Lathlin but messages were not returned as of press time.

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Trevor Wright
REPORTER
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