Regional district blamed for racist graffiti

The co-owner of a campground near Summit Lake says the Fraser-Fort George Regional District is partly to blame for the racist graffiti found at the resort's entrance.

If not for the FFGRD's refusal to back away from the legal action it is pursuing against him and his brother, Bernard Chingee said it is unlikely he would have found the phrase "Hey Indian Leave this Damn Gate Open" in marker on the formal sign attached to the gate at Loons Haven Family Resort.

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In June 2018, the FFGRD filed a notice of claim against Bernard and Justin Chingee seeking a court order to shut down a campground on the north shore of Summit Lake, alleging the use has exceeded the length of a temporary use permit for the site.

In responses filed 3 1/2 months later, the Chingees claimed the FFGRD has no authority to take the action because the resort is on treaty land.

Other than to change its lawyer, the FFGRD has taken no action since then. Chingee said the FFGRD has no case and its refusal to back off has only heightened tensions.

"The regional district kind of inflames it, saying that "this is our land, not yours, we're going to take you to court,'" he said Thursday. "They're silly."

The FFGRD has had a policy of not commenting on matters before the court.

Although not impressed with the graffiti, Chingee appeared to be taking the matter in stride.

"If I catch him, I' spank him," he said with a laugh. "I'll be telling him 'don't be doing that, you little boy.'"

FFGRD spokeswoman Renee McCloskey said the graffiti has left regional district "disheartened" and condemns the act.

"The strength of our region comes from the diversity of the people who live here and call this place home," she said. "Racism is unacceptable and there is no place for that in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George."

With respect to the court action, McCloskey limited her comment tosay the FFGRD's case is proceeding.

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