Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link and Wheatland County's CAO Brian Henderson discovered intentional damage to their vehicles after a meeting held at the Namaka Community Centre.
The damage occurred in April during a round table discussion Link held with MP Martin Shields and MLA Joseph Schow at the community centre in Namaka; both vehicles suffered damage at the same time.
Link advised this matter has been reported to the RCMP and although there is a suspect there is currently not enough evidence for charges to be laid.
Link in a personal statement expressed what she has been dealing with over the past few months and what she feels led to this incident.
"At our round table engagement session the evening before the vandalism, discussions escalated to the point a hospice supporter told one of my ratepayers he should hang himself. The hospice supporters at my engagement session were hostile and unnecessarily angry. I also heard from attendees at the joint Wheatland Housing Management Body (WHMB) and Wheatland and Area Hospice Society (WAHS) presentations that some presentations were openly hostile, to the point some attendees did not even feel comfortable asking questions.
My experience the last couple weeks has been unsettling. It’s hard to understand how a request for a letter of support from our seniors' housing board turned into multiple angry emails, and calls, and escalated into fellow elected officials from neighbouring municipalities outlining how residents could recall Wheatland County Councillors and further escalated into vandalism.
I ask myself if the vandalism was out of control anger? Or an attempt at intimidation? Either way, it’s disconcerting to see targeted vandalism at the same time leads me to conclude it’s likely related.
Despite this I am committed to working collaboratively with WHMB and WAHS, I am mindful I can’t control other people’s behaviour. I can only control my own behaviour and my response.
We can all reflect on how to contribute to a better future. We’ve been through some very challenging times together. Everyone has been impacted by that. And all of us have choices, we can make the future better or we can contribute to further anger, polarization and vitriol.
I’ve heard concerning experiences from colleagues across Alberta. A fellow Reeve has had to move his daughter to stay with her grandparents due to death threats. This is not acceptable and is going to result in a lack of individuals willing to serve in leadership positions."
If anyone saw anything suspicious or has information that may help RCMP please contact Strathmore RCMP detachment at 403-934-3968. Or contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).
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