Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran reads a prepared statement about a threat made against him two weeks ago. The threat was posted online. When he made his public statement he was flanked by his wife, children, mother and two city councillors. (Alistair Waters-Capital News)

No charges for threat to Kelowna’s mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service declines to lay charges after man calls for mayor to be shot

Kelowna’s mayor says he’s not surprised or disappointed to learn no charges will be laid against a man who publicly called for him to be shot in a post on social media two weeks ago.

But Colin Basran said Tuesday he stands by his decision to report the threat to the RCMP.

“By doing that, I wanted to raise awareness that this type of behaviour is not OK,” said Basran.

“It affects more than just me as the mayor. It also affects my family and my personal life.”

Basran is married and has two young children. His parents also live in the city.

Following a controversial decision by Basran to bring back a previously defeated residential development proposal in the South Pandosy area of the city for a second vote, the threat was made on a discussion forum of local internet news organizations.

The threat was taken down a short time later.

The offending post called for someone to shoot Basran because he brought the development issue for Groves Avenue back for a second vote and it was approved. The post, which said “Put a bullet in the (expletive)” included the poster’s name.

READ MORE: Kelowna mayor calls for civility in light of online threat against him

Police arrested a 52-year-old Kelowna man the next day and he was scheduled to appear in court next month.

But the B.C Prosecution Service has decided not to press charges, saying the assessment standard for doing so was not met in this case.

The BCPS looks at two criteria when it weighs charging an accused, if there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and if the prosecution is in the public interest.

Following the threat, Basran appeared at city hall, with his family by his side, denounced the threat and publicly called for more civility when it comes to public discourse in the community.

While acknowledging public officials do open themselves up to criticism with the decisions they make, threats such as the one made against him crossed a line.

On Monday, he said despite the prosecution service decision, he does not regret reporting the threat to police.

“Hopefully, this person will think twice before doing that again,” said the mayor, noting the man who was arrested was “not a kid in his parents’ basement” but a middle-aged man who has had run-ins with the law in the past.

Basran’s father George echoed his son’s remarks saying while he did not think charges would be laid in this case, he’s proud his son stood up to the threat and reported it to the police.

“Hopefully, as a result, someone will take a deep breath next time and take 10 seconds to think before they hit the send button (on their computer) if they are thinking of (saying) something like that,” he said.

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