Stick to facts

Editorial comment suggests a shortage of tact and sensitivity in regard statements relating to Shambhala fatality

Say what you will about the RCMP and the individual conduct issues that sometimes make headlines, but as an organization, it doesn’t often send out press releases with anything but factual information.

That’s why when a woman from Alberta died at the Shambhala Music Festival on Friday, Aug. 9 and the RCMP issued a release stating her death was from natural causes, it was disheartening to see comments such as, “ya i bet she did….wasn’t drugs at all…”, [sic] on some of our social media sites.

Instead of assuming everyone who attends Shambhala is a drug user, perhaps it’s best to remember that more than 10,000 adults from multiple countries were expected to attend the event. It would be a statistical anomaly if they were all drug users.

The RCMP release was short and included exactly zero details about the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event.

Why then, would anyone make assumptions based solely on where she happened to be?

Last year at Shambhala, there was a drug-related death, reported to be the first in the 15-year history of the event. In that case, the RCMP was quick to point out that there was evidence that death was from a drug overdose; something later confirmed by the B.C. Coroner’s Service.

Perhaps those who are quick to judge can, out of respect for the family and friends who may be searching for information in the wake of a tragedy like this, take a page from the RCMP media handbook and just stick to the facts.


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