Smear campaign

Criticism of the coverage of sexual harassment allegations in the community.


The last few weeks The Courier has been reporting on the conflict between two female volunteer firefighters from the fire department and Fire Chief Rob Bennett.

I was shocked at the amount of information each week that was posted about the allegations against Mr. Bennett by his accusers during, what appeared to be, an ongoing investigation.

What are the District of Fort St. James’ policies around confidentiality and an employee’s rights to a fair process?

This came across as a one-sided, subjective account of someone’s actions.

Placing this information in the paper against the fire chief before any firm conclusions had been reached by the District appears to have been a smear campaign.

Whether Mr. Bennett is guilty of the offences described or not, I feel he should have still had the same right as the women that were accusing him to a fair, confidential and unbiased assessment of the situation.

Playing this out in the community newspaper has put Mr. Bennett at a distinct disadvantage, as the accused many times carry the stigma forever whether the accusations are ever substantiated or not.


Allison Zaporozan

Fort St. James