The threatening post, with the poster’s name and expletives blacked out. (contributed)

Suspect arrested after Kelowna mayor receives death threat

RCMP say a 52-year-old man was arrested after an online post called for Kelowna’s mayor to be shot

Update—May 15, 10:47 a.m.

Kelowna RCMP say they have arrested a man in relation to a online threat against Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

The suspect, a 52-year-old Kelowna man, faces potential criminal charges, according to the RCMP.

He was released on strict conditions and is expected to appear in court on June 24, 2019.

Police confirmed Wednesday morning they were investigating a threat made against “a City of Kelowna official.”

After receiving a report of the threat Tuesday evening, the Kelowna RCMP said they identified and arrested a suspect.

Update—May 15, 10:30 a.m.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran has responded to a threat against him posted on social media.

The threat called for someone to shoot the mayor and prompted his family to report the threat to the RCMP.

In an post of his own on Instagram, Basran said criticism is expected by people who run for, and hold, public office. But the threat posted against him went too far.

“When you put your name forward and are selected to serve the people of your community, you expect some criticism,” wrote Basran. “But the post above goes beyond anything I would have ever expected.”

He said while the posted threat may not appear to be “a big deal” to some, it was is incredibly hurtful to both him and his family.

“So much so, I’ll admit it brought me to tears. I’m scared, angry, sad and everything in between,” wrote the mayor, who was re-elected to a second term in October.

“I put up with a lot of criticism at times, but threatening my safety is completely unacceptable! If this is the new norm for elected officials, I want no part of it. Not even sure what else to say.”

Original story:

The father of Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says his son is “devastated” by an online death threat he received following council’s approval of a controversial development proposal in the city.

George Basran said the threat was reported to the RCMP after it was posted in the comments section of the InfoNews.ca website. The comment has since been taken down.

The post called for the shooting of Basran in light of council’s approval Monday of a planned six-storey residential building on Groves Avenue in the South Pandosy area of the city.

The proposal was defeated in a tied voted following a public hearing last month, but on Monday Basran, using his mayoral executive privilege, brought the issue back for a second vote. This time, with a full council, it was approved 5-4.

READ MORE: Second time lucky for proposed Kelowna development—thanks to mayor

Since then, there has been backlash against the council decision by south Pandosy area residents upset by the decision.

But that was taken a step farther Tuesday with the death threat.

George Basran said his son is shaken and the threat was reported to the police. The RCMP have yet to respond to inquiries about the threat.

The elder Basran said he advised his son to seek a restraining order against the person who wrote: “Put a bullet in this f**ktard.”

In an earlier post, the same poster wrote of Basran: “Why is this f**king clown still in office? Before long Kelowna will look like False Creek, Vancouver.”

Basran said before the post was taken down, he was able to check a profile of the writer, who was described as a man in his late 30s who lived in the Lower Mission area of the city.

George Basran said he feels people need stood up to those who make threats via the Internet.

“We’re not going to let this lie,” he said. “You can’t ignore this kind of thing.”

He said his son, who was re-elected to a second term in October, has received threats in the past, but never life-threatening ones.

Colin Basran, who did not immediately return calls Wednesday morning, has a young family and his father said he is concerned about the safety of his son’s wife and children in light of the threat.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
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@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

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