‘Fear, mistrust, anger’: Langford councillor claims someone photographed them inside their home, harassed them

CHEK
Langford Mayor Scott Mayor Goodmanson is pictured with Coun. Colby Harder (left) and Coun. Kimberley Guiry (right).

The City of Langford has issued a statement after a person reportedly took photos of the inside of a councillor’s home and harassed them.

In a release Wednesday, Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson said a “disgruntled member of the public” who has long been vocal about their dissatisfaction with council was seen staring through the windows of a councillor’s home, and was seemingly taking photographs.

“When confronted, the person began harassing the councillor about personal matters that are completely unrelated to city business,” said Goodmanson.

The councillor filed a report with the West Shore RCMP, and Mounties tell CHEK News they did investigate the matter.

“West Shore RCMP has investigated this incident and determined, although the behaviour displayed by the citizen was concerning, no criminal act had been committed,” said West Shore RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Nancy Saggar.

“The complainant was updated and the file is now concluded,” she said.

Festering civil discontent

Goodmanson says there has been growing resentment from a small group of Langford residents that has been mounting since the city’s new council came into power in 2022.

“Unfortunately, a small minority of residents have been unable to accept this [council] and have indulged in behaviour that creates an atmosphere of fear, mistrust, anger, and hostility,” he said.

“When elected officials and their families can no longer feel safe in their home, when staff begin to dread interactions with certain members of the public, when members of the public do not feel safe participating in democracy, including running for office, or attending open public meetings, we have reached a point where we must decide between fostering productive civil discourse or allowing incivility and aggression to become the standard of behaviour,” said Goodmanson.

The city warns that in some cases people may be banned from attending council meetings if they are making staff, councillors or other members of the public feel unsafe.

In more severe cases, legal action may be taken, the city says.

SEE ALSO: Langford resident blames ‘vocal minority’ for out-of-hand council meetings

“It is time for current and former leaders in our community, including former Mayor Stewart Young, to strongly denounce this inappropriate and troubling behaviour which erodes the foundation of the community,” said Goodmanson.

“We must work together to create a city we can all be proud of and feel safe in.”

Problematic civil discourse has plagued Langford over the past two years.

In June 2023, the mayor noted that some councillors were receiving “thinly veiled death threats” online, while Coun. Mary Wagner said comments were going beyond “negative feedback” and amounted to “bullying, harassment, personal attacks.”

READ MORE: ‘Thinly veiled death threats’ against Langford council prompts social media policy

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