Local OPP spokesperson muzzled amid 'reprehensible' Facebook

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Local OPP spokesperson muzzled amid 'reprehensible' Facebook

Postby Thomas » Thu May 16, 2019 1:28 am

Local OPP spokesperson muzzled amid 'reprehensible' Facebook post backlash

SARNIA – The local Ontario Provincial Police officer who serves as the face of the force in Lambton County is out as spokesperson, at least for now, amid a deepening backlash over Facebook comments that mocked gays and menstruation.

The Facebook remarks – posted in response to a local news organization’s public Facebook post, and first reported by The Sarnia Observer – sparked shock and anger across Southwestern Ontario as even more controversial Facebook posts linked to Const. Chris Doupe surfaced.

“Your (derogatory term for female genitalia) is a taxpayers issue? Are you serious?” read the initial controversial comment, posted by a personal Facebook account of Chris Doupe. “Allow a couple of rainbows and some tampons … what’s next? Chris Doupe for Mayor!”

The genitalia comment was in response to a news story about Sarnia city council’s debate over whether to offer free tampons in public places. The “rainbow” remark appears to be a reference to a Sarnia city council debate over creating a possible rainbow-coloured crosswalk as a nod to the gay community.

Derek Rogers, who oversees media relations for OPP detachments across the London region, said Wednesday that all Lambton-area media issues would be handled by an officer from Huron County for the next week.

Rogers did not say whether Doupe would be reprimanded or permanently replaced as Lambton County spokesperson.

“The OPP is looking into the circumstances surrounding the post and we do take the matter seriously,” Rogers wrote in an email. “We hold our members accountable for their actions while on duty and off.”

But the issue is bound to get more complicated, with The Sarnia Observer on Wednesday obtaining screen-shot images of other comments from Doupe’s personal Facebook account. They read:

- In remarks that appeared to mock a group’s effort to have a gay-pride “rainbow” crosswalk painted on a Sarnia intersection, he wrote: “I am a hunter and a golfer. I feel that people in this city refer to me as an animal killer/abuser. I also golf. I have found that my male counter parts (sic.) refer to me as somewhat of a feminine (sic.) because I play golf. I will be seeking/asking the city to paint a collage of a nature scene incorporated with a golf course. I feel that this will really educate and soften those who criticize me.”

- In a Facebook post slamming proposed classroom spending cuts: “Look at this crap. The Liberal-loving Teachers Union (sic.) has enough cash to spend on propaganda trash! Bob Bailey (local MPP) and the PCs are doing a great job digging us out off the Liberal hole?! (sic.).”

Contacted Wednesday about the tampon comments, activists in Sarnia sought to find a potential positive.

Michelle Parks is organizing the city’s first Tampon Tuesday collection drive this month to help stock the shelves of Sarnia’s Inn of the Good Shepherd. She said the uproar caused by the Facebook comments – and the ensuing backlash from the community – could be a good thing.

“(It’s) really unfortunate. I find it very disappointing,” Parks said. “But on the positive side, it created a lot of attention for the actual issue and the decision council has before them … that’s a good thing. People are talking about menstrual equality and period poverty.”

Lila Palychuk, part of the Sarnia Pride and Transgender Association, took a similar stance when contacted Wednesday.

“There is obviously still a significant amount of discrimination and when you hear it from people in power like the OPP. … You can see how that trickles down,” Palychuk said.

“But these views are in the minority.”

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley has called the tampon comment “reprehensible.”

In his lone public comments so far, Doupe told The Sarnia Observer the tampon remark on a news organization’s public Facebook page was “no one’s business.”

https://www.theobserver.ca/news/local-n ... t-backlash
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Will OPP cop linked to 'reprehensible' Facebook posts be in

Postby Thomas » Fri May 17, 2019 3:44 am

Will OPP cop linked to 'reprehensible' Facebook posts be in classrooms?

OPP officials won't discuss whether a local police officer who's ensnared in controversy over Facebook posts mocking gays, menstruation and teachers will continue speaking to schoolchildren in classrooms across Lambton County.

Const. Chris Doupe has been temporarily removed from his duties as the Lambton OPP spokesperson while the police force reviews his jaw-dropping social media remarks and whether they broke a code of conduct regulating police officers.

But only in the all-but-impossible scenario that they lay criminal charges against Doupe would the OPP reveal what discipline, if any, will be taken against the officer — including whether he will be banned from classrooms as part of the OPP’s Values Influences and Peers (VIP) program.

VIP is a long-standing program in which officers talk to student about topics such as drug use and bullying. It falls under the duty of a local media officer, and Doupe has spoken in local classrooms.

“The only time that we would make a public announcement is if there have been some charges, which become public information,” said OPP Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne, a spokesperson with the OPP.

“If it’s anything for discipline measures internally, that is employee-employer information just like in any other (job-related) situation across any other business or organization. That doesn’t become public information.”

Doupe has faced a backlash after derogatory comments posted by a personal Facebook account linked to him surfaced on social media, sparking outrage across Southwestern Ontario.

“Your (derogatory term for female genitalia) is a taxpayers issue? Are you serious?” read the initial controversial comment, which was first reported by the Sarnia Observer. “Allow a couple of rainbows and some tampons … what’s next? Chris Doupe for Mayor!”

The genitalia comment was in response to a news story about Sarnia city council’s debate over whether to offer free tampons in public places.

The Sarnia Observer on Wednesday unearthed more comments made from Doupe’s personal Facebook account in which he mocks a group’s effort to have a gay-pride “rainbow” crosswalk painted on a Sarnia intersection and attacks teachers for criticizing proposed classroom spending cuts made by the Ontario government.

“Look at this crap. The Liberal-loving Teachers Union (sic.) has enough cash to spend on propaganda trash! Bob Bailey (local MPP) and the PCs are doing a great job digging us out of the Liberal hole?! (sic.).”

Laurel Liddicoat-Newton, president of the Lambton Kent Teachers’ Federation, slammed Doupe for his comments, calling them “concerning” and “inappropriate.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario “has always supported and promoted inclusive classrooms and (Doupe’s) comments seem very biased for a public employee,” she said.

But Liddicoat-Newton wouldn’t say whether the OPP should ban Doupe from visiting schools as part of its education programs.

“I can’t comment on how they discipline him or what they do to make that right,” she said.

Earlier this week, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley called the tampon comment “reprehensible.”

In his lone public comments so far, Doupe told the Sarnia Observer this week the tampon remark on a news organization’s public Facebook page was “no one’s business.”

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