Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In passing

There are communities in Nunavut with reputations. Perhaps those reputations are justified, perhaps they’re not. But most northern bloggers know them – the ones where there appears to be more violence, that there are greater rackets involving the youth in the community, where unemployment or drinking can be a problem.

I don’t think Kimmirut was on anyone’s radar. It’s south of Iqaluit and you can get there in less than a day by snowmobile if you feel like pushing it. And many people do head back and forth between the two communities during the winter. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to has had nothing but nice things to say about the community. There are people in town, when things get too much for them around here, head to Kimmirut for a break.

I’m not saying the place doesn’t have problems. I’m absolutely sure it does, but you rarely read or hear about the community. But it’s just one more element that makes the news of the murder of RCMP Constable Douglas Scott on Monday night so shocking. Kimmirut?

My condolences to Constable Scott and his family for this tragedy. The death of an RCMP officer is always horrible, but I admit it tends to hit me harder since I moved to the north. All northern bloggers know RCMP officers and most are friends with them. The communities are too small to not know who they are or get close to them. Most are hard working, dedicated and genuinely nice people doing a tough job under dangerous circumstance. These kind of days are horrible for anyone who lives in the north.

Special condolences to Claire, who is a former RCMP officer (in as much as you can be a former RCMP officer. I suspect he just retired and never stopped being an officer) and Jen, for which I imagine days like today must be especially traumatic.

The hardest job in Nunavut is the one that involves knocking on a door at 3 a.m. and not knowing what's waiting for you on the other side. We should never forget that.


Anonymous said...

Kimmirut is a nice place, its just the alcohol and drugs (that are behind closed doors as it is illigal there) that makes people go dumb and do crazy things like the man who did that to Const. Scott. alas, condolences to his family and friends and to his fellow officers. thank you for showing that it is a nice place, but as anywhere else, has problems too.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend of mine who is an RCMP officer.

My heart goes out to this office.

Horrible just horrible.

Steve said...

Well said. Some asshole decides to go on a bender and this young man pays with his life. My niece just joined the RNC and this kind of thing is a constant concern. She's 21.

Jen said...
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Jen said...

That was nicely written and thank you for condolences. My husband just recently did relief there and said that the community was peaceful and quiet. Hopefully this one person won't give Kimmirut a bad reputation. My heart is with Cst.Scott's Family and Friends.

Clare said...

As always Craig, a well written thoughtful piece. I think part of the tragedy of these murders is that it can happen anywhere, Kimmirut of course being no exception.

After I got shot at here in Arctic Bay I was talking to my parents, and my mother said "That's it. You should move somewhere safer." My reply to her was "Where? Russell?" Russell is a small town a half hour south of where I grew up, and about a month before my incident here, Dennis Strongquill, a colleague and acquaintance was murdered there, after stopping a truck with the headlights off.

The sad truth is that it can happen anywhere, and does. One can almost argue that it is safer in a more "dangerous" place, because you expect something to happen and are more aware about what is going on around you.

J Consortium said...
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J Consortium said...

Since I started working for the RCMP, this stuff definitely hits closer to home. Some of the members at our detachment had met Cst. Scott and only had nice things to say about him.

The RCMP is very much like a large family, especially in Nunavut, so it's a pretty big blow. As well, Cst. Scott was born the same year as me, and I can't even imagine how terrible it would be if one of my friends was killed. I still feel like a kid most days.