Remove ReJeanne Caron from the Bear Clan board
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Bear Clan is an Indigenous led, grassroots street patrol group that supports vulnerable people and other community members in Winnipeg. It is an internationally acclaimed organization that has sent presenters to speak at United Nations events and has affiliated chapters throughout Canada.
ReJeanne Caron is an officer for the Winnipeg Police Service, and a current board member for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. During her time as board member she has listed that position on her Twitter biography. She has also used that same Twitter account to promote political and social views on a wide range of topics. Some of the views expressed in her tweets, retweets and quote tweets include:
- Referring to the Black Lives Matter movement as “new terrorists”,
- Supporting the use of violence by the police against marginalized people,
- Denying the existence of systemic racism in Canadian policing,
- Referring to the Prime Minister of Canada as a dictator,
- Defending the use of the racist slogan “All lives matter” as a retort to the Black Lives Matter movement,
- Claiming that an Indigenous chief was lying about being assaulted by police,
- Suggesting that community members who advocate for reducing the police budget be blocked from calling 911,
- Calling on the government to classify anti-fascist activists as terrorists,
- Characterizing the legitimate grievances of the BLM movement as petty and overblown,
- Demands for harsher sentencing laws,
- Criticizing politicians for discussing racism in the House of Commons,
- Opposition to gun control.
Bear Clan Patrol Inc. is founded on the 3 core principles of being:
- Non-violent, and
As an Indigenous grassroots organization, Bear Clan is focused on connecting with the communities’ most vulnerable members. Bear Clan orientation speeches often emphasize that their role is to support and connect with people, not to judge people’s lifestyle choices.
Ms. Caron has used her social media presence to judge the community and to make excuses for police violence in an inappropriate and confrontational manner. Bear Clan leadership has recently received a large number of complaints regarding Ms. Caron's Twitter activity, and CityNews has reported on the controversy. A post from Bear Clan's official Facebook page clarifying that Ms. Caron's tweets do not represent the views of Bear Clan received a dozens of comments demanding Ms. Caron's removal from the board. The post was ultimately deleted by Bear Clan.
After Bear Clan provided coordination services for the historic June 2020 Black Lives Matter rally, Ms. Caron’s Tweets are a betrayal to the community Bear Clan exists to support. Ms. Caron has announced her intention to run for political office and is using her membership on the Bear Clan board for political gain. While advertising herself as a Bear Clan board member she has repeatedly made claims online that go against everything that Bear Clan stands for. Her membership on the board hurts Bear Clan’s credibility, has already damaged Bear Clan’s reputation, and must be terminated. Apologizing or removing the offending tweets is not enough: the damage has been done and there is no way for Ms. Caron to regain the community’s trust.
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