OP/ED Rant: An open letter to Chief Civilian Director of the IIO, one Ronald J. MacDonald

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
April 9th, 2018

Thank you, Ms . Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Dear Ronald J. MacDonald:

How do I loathe thee? You’d better believe I’m about to count the ways. I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach … and here’s why.

First off, in the same fairness I showed Const. Tait, I want to be clear to my readers that I have never spoken to you, much less met you. My ire is based solely upon your work product, no more and no less (there could hardly be less, in this case, if you ask me).

I’m mostly distressed by the DeGroot report.

I have taken a lot of heat, even from my own family and friends, by being offended by your cavalier refusal to use your name in a way that is not politically cruel. Perhaps they are correct in saying my petty sniping was beneath me (they think more highly of me than I do), but it’s the very least of my concerns with you, so let’s revisit that later. But while I still decline to use your name, I recognize that one doesn’t achieve a position such as yours without earning it (in my opinion, you are one step down from the man/woman with the nuclear launch codes, as you police the men and women who are allowed to roam freely in my community with deadly weapons. Or at least, that’s what you are supposed to do). So I will, for the purposes of this column, accord you the only tiny bit of respect I can drum up, and call you Sir.

How dare you, Sir?

How dare you treat the people of my community this way?

The DeGroot report was an embarrassing, sick, horrifying indictment of how your people are willing to treat the smaller communities in this province. I have literally written for YEARS in abject fury over your refusal to provide justice or even answers in a way that was (as your mandate requires) swift or even just fast enough to promise a result that wouldn’t be so pallid and lengthy as to make even the laziest, most anemic snail in history crow with pride.

I am madly all about law and order. I tried very, very hard not to hate your breathing guts.

I would be so ashamed, were I you … so I read your report looking for, “We deeply regret,” or, “I am genuinely sorry,” or anything, anything at all that would imply to the people of my community that we were something more than an afterthought for you. What I got was, “unfortunate delay”.

Interesting term for three and four years of torture.

Members of my community were devastated and brutalized by your lassitude and ineptitude, and your version of owning that is, “unfortunate delay”?  It was sheer torture for them, refused the families closure, left cops with the hammer of being the subjects of murder investigations over their heads, pitted neighbour against neighbour, and all you have to say is, “unfortunate delay”?

How dare you, Sir?

I very literally watched your organization, over those same years, clear many, many cases in Surrey and other parts of the lower mainland while you left us to agonize. You can pretend all you want that our demographically- challenged (read: lack of voters) location wasn’t a factor, but it’ll just prove how stupid you think we really are, in my opinion.

Your excuse was a lack of access to resources. I would totally buy into that except for this one niggling point: you never, not once to the best of my knowledge, created a hue and cry over being under-funded or poorly-resourced.

You should have been screaming it from the mountaintops, if you really cared about your mandate, rather than your salary.

I mean, isn’t that your job? If the IIO is forced into a position of gross incompetence due to a lack of resources, shouldn’t you be the guy yelling the loudest, not some Podunk journalist in the middle of nowhere (that would be me)? You CHOSE to lead this organization, so where in God’s name is your even-passing pretence to leadership? You were hired to protect the province, its police and its people. So where the hell have you been? All I see you protecting is your pension and benefits. You chose a very significant position of public trust and have, as far as I can see, utterly violated same.


Next up – AP (meaning Affected Person). Your report was about DeGroot.  You knew that, I knew that, everyone knew that, it was a matter of public record. But you couldn’t be bothered, he’s just AP to you. Your absolute declination to use his name was cold, crass, and disrespectful to this community, in my opinion.

He was a living, breathing citizen, he left behind living, breathing loved ones, and he had a name. His name was Peter DeGroot. If you can’t find it in your heart to even know and repeat his name, why on earth should we ever, even for a moment, lend even the slightest credence to your findings? And why should I ever in life decline to speak unkindly to your name when you can’t even be bothered to learn/use the name of one of my people? The names of people whose lives hinge on your decisions?

You think it’s odd I take exception to YOUR name? I certainly hope not, as I refuse to use it, and I assume at least a modicum of intelligence from a  man in your vaunted position.

But the name thing only starts there. Pathologist #1, 2, etc.? It makes sense to refer to the cops involved that way on the off chance that we don’t already know their names, but you’re expecting us to take and trust results from ‘experts’ you won’t even name? Take a look at the top of this column. I sign my name. If your sources are so very weak you have to hide their identities, then you shouldn’t be using them as sources. People with integrity (and who are not under investigation) come with signatures, or I decline to view them as experts. And we have a right to know who they are, when their findings so directly impact our communities.

How. DARE. You.


Which brings us to Tait. I’ll watch the trial and try to be objective about the outcome, but you have so utterly violated my trust that I won’t be surprised if the trial leads me to discover that he was a political scapegoat you used to justify your own existence. And if he proves to be in the wrong, I will be forced, based on your abysmal track record, to assume your prosecution/persecution of him was more luck than good management.

You have, in my opinion, robbed civilian people and police alike in my region of any sense of safety, any hope of justice, and even, (AP) their names.

So yes, Sir, perhaps I was somewhat brutal and unkind in judging your name as being wildly disrespectful and politically moronic when addressing a province I feel you have utterly failed (you could have chosen R. MacDonald or RJ MacDonald, or anything at all that would tell us you value your enormous position of public trust and that our incredible and lasting – because of your choices, I think – pain means more to you than your egocentric clinging to a moniker that will make all of this a punchline; the butt of a truly ugly joke).

But that’s clearly not your way, is it? YOUR name is super-important, political optics be damned, and OUR names – well, we’re AP or Witness #1, no?

Yes, I bitchily sniped at you. I’ll totally COP to that.


And, because I have the integrity to sign my name (as, to your credit, do you), I am Kyra Hoggan.







Categories: Crime


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