Offensive letter mass-mailed anonymously in Bonfield compares drag strip noise to George Floyd’s death
NORTH BAY -- There's controversy brewing in Bonfield after a letter was mass mailed to the entire township from a disgruntled citizen comparing noise from the Bonfield Event Park’s drag strip to the killing of George Floyd in the U.S.
“My first reaction was shock,” said Bonfield Event Park owner Lisa Groves. “I just couldn't believe the analogy that was being used."
CTV News was able to obtain the letter, which states it was sent on behalf of the racetrack's neighbours.
"Slowly, but, surely it is sapping the life out of us, the taxpaying residents of the Township of Bonfield who expect the protection and promotion of our health and welfare,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on to compare the noise complaint to the murder of George Floyd, claiming non-action by the township is similar to the non-action of the police officers on duty when Floyd was dying.
The letter also states there is "no compromise to be had for this situation.”
While the park is certainly loud, Bonfield Mayor Randy McLaren said the comparison is not appropriate.
"There is no similarity to a local noise complaint to a significant event in the United States where someone died,” said McLaren. “We support any local business. To say we’re supportive of the park? Of course we are."
Groves is no stranger to noise complaints when drag racing takes place. But, when she received the letter making the offensive comparison, she was flabbergasted.
She and her family have owned the event space since October 2018. She said public events only take place in the summer and only once a month.
McLaren said police have started an investigation into the letter's origin. For her part, Groves wonders how best to proceed.
“How can I resolve the situation with a coward who says there is no comprise?" she said. "I'm at a loss."
Meanwhile, CTV News reached out to Canada Post, who said it does not condone with what was written.
“As a Crown Corporation, Canada Post is obligated by law to deliver any mail that is properly prepared and paid for, unless it is considered non-mailable matter under established postal regulations,” Canada Post said in a statement. “Canada Post, as Canada's postal administration, has the constitutional obligation to not censor free expression guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedom.’
While many people in Bonfield are upset, neighbours who live across the street from strip said Friday they have mixed opinions on the amount of noise when drag racing takes place.
"It happens during the day on the weekends and it's really the only thing lately bringing people from outside of town into town," said Hubert Muller.
Muller’s neighbour, Robin Steward, said the loud noises are irritating.
“It gets quite deafening at times and it’s difficult to have a conversation when you're sitting outside,” Steward said.
The Bonfield Event Park is holding a weekend-long event this weekend with drag racing planned. Groves said she is now worried tensions could escalate between upset neighbours and the event park staff.