NCA mem­ber in­jured dur­ing cam­paign al­ter­ca­tion in Truro

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - HARRY SUL­LI­VAN

TRURO, N.S. – The chief agent of the Na­tional Cit­i­zens Al­liance (NCA) re­quired hos­pi­tal treat­ment af­ter be­ing “sucker punched” and kicked in the face dur­ing a cam­paign stop in Truro, the party leader says.

And Steve Gar­vey now ac­cuses the Truro Po­lice Ser­vice of neg­li­gence be­cause of the in­ci­dent that oc­curred last Friday evening at the Civic Square, when he and other NCA mem­bers came to town to hold a “peace­ful” cam­paign.

“They ac­tu­ally al­lowed the al­ter­ca­tion. You could ar­gue they were neg­li­gent in their duty,” Gar­vey told the Truro News. “And then they came rush­ing in af­ter there was vi­o­lence. By then it was too late, some­one was al­ready hurt. So, this is quite con­cern­ing.”

A Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tin9vksvcm­y) of the event shows a man, who Gar­vey iden­ti­fied as chief agent Adrien Bordage, be­ing con­fronted and then knocked to the ground dur­ing the event. By that point, it had es­sen­tially be­come a shout­ing match be­tween NCA mem­bers and a small group of protesters, one of whom had his face masked.

“Adrian suf­fered a con­cus­sion. He was sucker punched in his jaw... in his mouth area,” Gar­vey said, of Bordage, 62. “He fell to the ground and then this guy booted him in the face. And he’s wear­ing th­ese army boots.”

Gar­vey said he was told by a po­lice of­fi­cer that he could be charged with tres­pass­ing for us­ing the Civic Square for their po­lit­i­cal pur­poses with­out a per­mit.

“It’s pretty aw­ful what hap­pened to our chief agent,” he said. “We don’t want to cause prob­lems for peo­ple. But when they are deny­ing us our con­sti­tu­tional rights, we are go­ing to speak up.”

At least some of the protesters are be­lieved to be mem­bers of an anti-facist group from Hal­i­fax.

Truro Po­lice In­spec­tor Rob Hearn said of­fi­cers were on hand when the in­ci­dent oc­curred. Peo­ple are per­mit­ted to protest peace­fully, he said, and un­til an al­ter­ca­tion ac­tu­ally broke out, they were sim­ply there to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion.

“The po­lice typ­i­cally don’t get in­volved un­less there is a prob­lem,” he said.

Hearn added po­lice have ac­cess to videos taken dur­ing the event and the mat­ter re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“A lot of peo­ple dis­agree with his views but the po­lice are im­par­tial,” Hearn said. “We don’t take sides, that’s not what we do. You can dis­agree with him but, if he is the vic­tim of a crime or his peo­ple are the vic­tim of a crime, we take that very se­ri­ously.”

Gar­vey also took is­sue with Truro town of­fi­cials, whom he said are at­tempt­ing to cen­sor NCA ac­tiv­i­ties by not al­low­ing them to cam­paign on pub­lic prop­erty.

“We didn’t even bring a mega­phone. We went there strictly from the stand­point of cam­paign­ing,” he said. “And un­der the Elec­tions Act, dur­ing the cam­paign pe­riod, we have the right to ac­cess any pub­lic space for cam­paign­ing peace­fully.”

On that is­sue, town CAO Mike Dolter partly agreed. “I dis­agree that we are re­quired to al­low them. Can we stop them from be­ing there?” Dolter said. “I would say he’s prob­a­bly cor­rect that we can’t stop them, be­cause it is a pub­lic space.”

But he said the town has spe­cific poli­cies in place based on in­for­ma­tion con­tained in the Nova Sco­tia Hu­man Rights Act.

Any­one want­ing to book the space has to sign an agree­ment that their ac­tiv­i­ties fol­low those guide­lines.

“Some of the re­search we have done with the NCA in­di­cated there was rea­son for con­cern about some of their ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

“The other thing, too, with Civic Square, we have us­age agree­ments that ba­si­cally says it won’t be used for po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Dolter said the Civic Square had been booked since last March for both Sept. 13 and 14 by the Em­brace Fes­ti­val. While it may not have ap­peared to Gar­vey that the square was in use, Dolter said last Friday was booked as a set-up date for the fes­ti­val and a tent had been erected on­site for that pur­pose.

And Dolter said the NCA was never ac­tu­ally de­nied use of the square be­cause, to his knowl­edge, no for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion had been made.

But in re­sponse to a re­quest for pro­tec­tion from the NCA, which had been an­tic­i­pat­ing is­sues with pro­tes­tors prior to the event, Dolter said ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers were put in place for Friday evening.

“We try to main­tain neu­tral­ity,” he said.

Gar­vey

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