British Columbia

Site C shooting 'forever' links Anonymous activist, farmer

A protest by a retired farmer at a Site C meeting triggered the call to police that led to the fatal shooting of an Anonymous activist in Dawson Creek. But a year later, IIO investigators still haven't interviewed him.

Retired farmer whose Site C protest triggered RCMP shooting never interviewed by investigators

After RCMP officers fatally shot a masked man outside a Site C open house in 2015, the IIO took over the investigation. But they never interviewed a man linked to the shooting. (CBC)

A man linked to the fatal RCMP shooting of a a masked activist with Anonymous was never interviewed by investigators for B.C.'s police watchdog. 

"They have never gotten ahold of me. No, never," Terry Hadland told CBC News one year after officers killed James McIntyre outside an open house for the controversial Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

RCMP were called to the public meeting in Dawson Creek after Hadland ripped up maps, called BC Hydro staff names, and overturned two tables.

'I triggered the whole darn thing'

"I triggered the whole darn thing because I didn't want Hydro to get away with smooching up to the public," said Hadland, a retired wheat farmer who has opposed Site C for decades.

Officers who responded that evening said that they encountered a masked man with a knife outside on the street.

By that time, Hadland, the lone protester who had disrupted the meeting and sparked a 911 call, was long gone.

Hadland said he'd been escorted from the meeting and saw a stranger outside holding Site C brochures and "shielding his face from me."

James McIntyre, pictured here, was shot dead by RCMP outside a Site C open house in Dawson Creek, B.C. last year. Terry Hadland says it was his own protest inside the public meeting that triggered the call to police. (Facebook )

Hadland says he then got in his car, and drove home, only hearing about the deadly shooting the next day.

'Devastated ... awfully guilty'

"Oh, I was devastated," said Hadland. "I felt awfully guilty. I could hardly believe that ... it was surreal, especially as I began to realize it was me they were out for," he said.

Hadland said he rushed over to the Dawson Creek RCMP Detachment  where he spoke with an officer for about 20 minutes.

"I said, 'look it, you guys have been duped, because I didn't do anything down there for you to go down there and shoot somebody."

I didn't do anything ...for you to go down there and shoot somebody.- Terry Hadland, retired farmer and Site C protester

​Hadland said the police "patted me on the back and sent me home."

Hadland said RCMP told him, "It's a good thing you were there because maybe this guy was really dangerous," . "And if you hadn't been there, and a 911 call made, maybe something else would have happened."

Initial RCMP reports referred to a man at the Site C meeting who was disruptive and "damaging property." 

But Hadland said he was never charged for what he did.

IIO investigators never contacted protester inside

And he was never  interviewed by IIO investigators, even though he wanted to tell them what happened. 

 "I haven't heard a word ," Hadland said. "The investigation, I don't think it can be thorough until they have spoken to me, and they haven't."

 "We don't provide information on witnesses in IIO investigations as this could compromise the integrity of an investigation, said Aidan Buckley, the IIO's communications and stakeholder relations liaison.

IIO won't comment on witnesses 

"It's important that we respect the privacy of witnesses," said Buckley.

Hadland said he'd never had contact with Anonymous, the online international activist group that claimed McIntyre as one of its own.

"I'm an old farmer. I'm technically challenged," Hadland said.

And Hadland said he never knew McIntyre. "But we are now linked forever, he and I."


Betsy Trumpener

Reporter-Editor, CBC News

Betsy Trumpener has won numerous journalism awards, including a national network award for radio documentary and the Adrienne Clarkson Diversity Award. Based in Prince George, B.C., Betsy has reported on everything from hip hop in Tanzania to B.C.'s energy industry and the Paralympics.


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