‘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.

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

Just Posted

‘Difficult but necessary’ – local parks, trails, rec sites closed amid pandemic

Several closures by province in area due to physical distancing concerns

Organ donation gives Fraser Valley RCMP officer a second chance at life

Cathleen Falebrinza celebrates Green Shirt Day after receiving a double lung transplant in 2016.

Stay off the tracks and stay alert, rail police warn

Last year, seven were killed and 10 seriously injured in rail crossing, trespassing incidents

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Most Read