‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal received a threatening card in November. (Contributed)

“Die! B—-ch! Die!” was not what this Vernon city councillor expected to read after opening the pretty red envelope mailed to her parents’ address before the Christmas holidays.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal said the threatening, handcrafted card she received in November left her feeling anxious, afraid and now, three months later, angry.

“It’s not a secret that I’m battling cancer,” Nahal said. “Is this person just being mean, saying ‘die’ because of my cancer, or is it because I’m on council?”

Nahal said the time spent in hand-making the card is indication the issue is deep rooted.

After opening the card that was delivered to her parents’ home address, Nahal said she thought it was a one-off, shrugged it off, and started preparing dinner. But she kept thinking about it. She reached out to her colleague councillors to see if they had received any unusual mail. It was then a colleague told her to file a report with police.

In discussions with the officer, Nahal was asked if she had “pissed anyone off intentionally.”

“I’m not someone to pick fights,” she said.

Nahal said she’s developed thick skin over the years, but she was worried that the card was sent to her family’s home.

“That’s what really scares me,” she said. “My parents are elderly, my dad is battling cancer and if this person thinks I live there… you never know what someone’s mindset is.”

The Vernon councillor wasn’t keen on making this incident public as she didn’t want to give the person behind the card the satisfaction of a reaction, but once it came out in conversation and was picked up by local media, she said she’s been more open to talk about it.

“Only a handful of people knew about it when it happened,” she said, noting most of her fellow councillors weren’t aware of the situation.

Nahal said she’s no stranger to verbal abuse. It’s something she sees on a regular basis in her daytime job at Service BC.

“I just take the approach that they’re not mad at me, they’re mad at the situation.”

But a card mailed by an anonymous person is different.

“This is something we wouldn’t tolerate from our loved ones, why would you tolerate this from strangers?”

In the wake of Nahal sharing her accounts, Coun. Scott Anderson admitted he too had received death threats last year.

“I told the police and that was the end of it,” Anderson wrote on the Vernon and Area Community Forum he founded on Facebook.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was also on the receiving end of death threats in May 2019. A 52-year-old man was arrested after the online post called for the mayor to be shot.

The City of Armstrong announced Feb. 24 it will work in collaboration with the Municipal Insurance Association of BC to create a program to equip its city staff with tools to create a safe work environment to mitigate the increased risk of abuse, threats and attacks they’re fielding from the general public.

READ MORE: Suspect arrested after Kelowna mayor receives death threat

“We (as politicians) take enough abuse via phone calls, via emails, but now we have to worry about our safety as well is ridiculous,” Nahal said.

She said she isn’t feeling afraid about the incident anymore, but instead is acting more cautiously.

It has also made her take a closer look at language being used online and under the cloak of anonymity.

Comments on social media in response to Nahal’s story were primarily showing support, but some she said were trying to justify the death threat.

“It goes to show how immune we’ve become to this in our society,” Nahal said.

“Adults are behaving like children… we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

READ MORE: Partnership aims to reduce risk of abuse for Armstrong city staff

READ MORE: Vernon pool to see price increase, hours cut


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

News

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

Just Posted

Alistair MacGregor column: Responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic

This crisis has shown us just how many Canadians struggle every day to pay the bills

Second vehicle from Crofton Geo-Tech theft recovered

Supervisor at Crofton operation finds it parked at Chemainus campground

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

RCMP there for the public during COVID-19 crisis, says B.C.’s assistant commissioner

Dwyane McDonald said the RCMP are working closely with local governments and health officials

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read