Comox Valley RCMP Inspector Tim Walton is pictured during a discussion session in Courtenay on Dec. 20, 2017. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
COURTENAY, B.C. – RCMP Inspector Tim Walton is still standing firm on the Christmas truck shutdown in the Comox Valley.
The annual tradition was stopped in it’s tracks this year, after a heavy truck decorated with Christmas lights was pulled over in early December. The driver was told the lights were distracting, and issued a warning. Since then, the trucks have been off the roads, and recently have been making appearances in area parking lots.
Inspector Tim Walton of the Comox Valley RCMP previously spoke to the council for the Town of Comox, touching briefly on the subject of the trucks.
“We have had direct contact with some of the people and a couple of the drivers in particular,” Inspector Walton said, on Dec. 13.
“Beyond that, it would be inappropriate for me to discuss operational matters where there is enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Act.”
Walton added that, “we cannot give permission to anybody to operate a vehicle equipped with the lights. That’s a public message I won’t waver from.”
Most of the response from the public to the shut-down of the trucks has been negative, with Courtenay mayor Larry Jangula saying he disagreed with how things were handled. Walton has not made public comments on the issue since speaking with the Comox council.
On Dec. 20, Walton held a two-hour event at the Mcdonald’s along Lerwick Road at 10 a.m. during which members of the public could come by and talk to him about anything they wanted.
During the event, he told 98.9 The Goat he had spoken to around six people in total.
“I’ve worked the room, but things are going well, not a lot of concerns from the community,” said Walton.
He said three similar events are usually held each year, with varying levels of success.
“I’ve had nobody show up (in the past), and I’ve had people literally lined up,” said Walton.
“It could have been the free donuts.”
While Walton didn’t go into detail on the Christmas trucks, he did state he had received three negative emails about the shut down. He also indicated his stance on the vehicles wasn’t changing.
“People are asking me to give them the exemption from the Motor Vehicle Act” said Walton.
When asked about the possibility of the trucks using parade permits and routes next year, he declined to comment in detail. However, he did say that parades “are a totally different ballgame.”
The discussion session ended at 12 p.m.