Anti-Crouse poster not threatening: police
Rural poster seems to be political attack
By: Stu Salkeld
| Posted: Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 04:00 pm
The election season is upon St. Albert, and things are heating up. Thankfully, though, credible kidnapping threats still are not part of the local political scene.
RCMP in two detachments, Morinville and St. Albert, were notified earlier this week about some strange posters found on posts in Sturgeon County, which, at first, seemed to be criminal threats and then were revealed to be more political in nature.
The original complaint was made to the Morinville RCMP after a poster which was a crude political attack on St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse was apparently interpreted incorrectly. The person who brought the poster to Morinville RCMP felt it was a criminal threat against Crouse. The poster apparently stated Crouse’s children would be kidnapped.
The second poster found turned the tables a bit, and was written as if by Crouse himself, threatening to kidnap other people’s children if he doesn’t get re-elected.
Morinville RCMP Const. Yelena Avoine said police noted the incident but the content doesn’t seem credible. “We’re not investigating any threats or anything like that,” she said Thursday.
Avoine said Morinville investigators found the poster’s contents different from what the original complainant described.
Apparently, the original complainant also contacted the St. Albert RCMP, but Insp. Kevin Murray said it’s Morinville’s jurisdiction. Murray said the original complainant also contacted Mayor Crouse’s office regarding one or both of the posters.
Murray said a photograph of one of the posters was provided to police. It appears quite crudely handwritten and appears to be someone impersonating the mayor.
“It’s election time,” said Murray. “(The poster appears) to smear someone.”
Crouse, contacted Thursday by the Gazette, was noticeably agitated and angry about the situation. He said there were at least two posters circulating, one found by a citizen and one by county municipal staff.
Crouse said that he was angry the posters included a criminal threat against his family, and the insinuation he himself behaved in a criminal manner. “When you use the word kidnap, it moves beyond the political rhetoric,” said Crouse.
Crouse said he spoke to police last Tuesday about the posters. Crouse, stating he didn’t know who made the posters, was disappointed anyone would behave that way.
“For me, it’s totally unacceptable,” said Crouse. “There’s always an element of people who want to hide behind anything.
“Whoever is doing all of this stuff … someone will eventually get caught doing the wrong kinds of things.”