Letters to the Editor

Monday, 25 July 2011

Intimidation in Penniac on Weekend

By Cheryl Norrad

PENNIAC - Local Penniac resident Joe Stafford and wife Marjorie were with Stafford's brother on the weekend doing some ATV-ing in the area's backroads when they came across a SECURITAS truck blocking a road to the brother's camp. They wanted to go down the road to check on the camp that is situated along the public route. However, the group had difficulty accessing the road.

"A white truck from the private security firm SECURITAS was blocking the entry as we came upon it," said Marjorie Stafford. "Joe's brother went to drive around it and as he did, the SECURITAS truck backed up and almost hit him," she said.

Stafford's brother got past the truck, but the same thing happened when he and Marjorie attempted to pass.

"I was upset and went to speak to them, but the female guard on the passenger side rolled her window up and locked the door so I couldn't speak to her," said Joe Stafford.

Going around to the other side to the male security officer behind the wheel of the truck, Stafford voiced his frustration, but was admonished for being in the area by the officer, saying work was taking place and the Staffords shouldn't travel the road.

The group ignored the officer and went down the hill anyway to check on the camp, coming across no workers, but did encounter a bog caused by large vehicle tracks and they could hear a motor running in the distance. Seeing signs denoting explosive testing going on in the area, the group went no further.

Taking a different route to exit the road, the group encountered another SECURITAS truck. They asked one of the officers inside where the supervisor on site was so they could lay a complaint about the aggression of the officer at the other road.

Pointing down a nearby road, the officer said that's where the group could find the supervisor.

"When we got there we saw several vehicles with plates from Alberta, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick," said Marjorie Stafford. "There was also a SWN truck there," she said.

Joe Stafford demanded to know who the supervisor on site was and eventually, Ron Skeleton of SWN stepped up and said he was.

Stafford related what had happened with the SECURITAS officer, voicing his anger at the officer's attempts at intimidation with the truck in trying to prevent the group from accessing their land where the camp sits.

Stafford said Skeleton replied that shouldn't have happened; that it's not the policy of SWN to use such tactics to prevent locals from enjoying the woods.

Stafford said he will be contacting both companies to lodge a formal complaint. He wants to try to head off any future confrontations with security personnel to ensure it doesn't escalate into something violent.

"We understand they have a job to do," he said. "But that doesn't give them the right to intimidate us."

The Purple Violet Press contacted SWN General Manager Tom Alexander for comment and asked why security is required. We hope for a response soon.


  1. Sounds like poorly trained security people. Was it a private road? Was it posted as being closed?

  2. This is what I mean PV about bias. Here's this story which itself is okay but the writing clearly takes sides. Where's the story about equipment by this company being vandalized and the reaction of protestors? If you don't want to present balance, that's actually ok. Just don't purport to be unbiased and a journalist when you're running an agenda. If you're an activist, just come out and say it.


  3. Securitas guards have been harassing us in Durham too. They have been following us in their vehicles when we drive in our own neighborhood.

  4. Cheryl: It is our understanding it was a public road, with the only indication it was closed being the SECURITAS truck blocking the way.

  5. Anonymous: We have an email in to SWN about this asking why security is required. We have yet to get a response.

    If you know something about the vandalism, please get in touch with us, we would be happy to present it to readers.

    As for the reporting on the reaction of protesters, please see our story of what happened in Durham Bridge a month ago at a SWN open house.

    We invite you to also bring the vandalism and protester reaction to the mainstream media to report on.

    Finally, if you feel we have an 'agenda' you are welcome to discontinue visiting our site since it clearly pains you to read our reports.

  6. Also heard another report tonight of the trucks blocking an access road off the lower durham road..

  7. Readers are asked to send along any pictures they may have of SECURITAS vehicles reportedly blocking roadways.

  8. Information? It's all over the news. Not mentioning that fact even without comment is a disservice. Come on PV. You can do better. On comments. I can appreciate that you prefer the comments that are fawning but if you want balance there should be various comments from different points of view and you should welcome them not shun them. Unless of course you have a specific agenda or side which is perfectly fine. Just be honest about it.

    Name is CJ by the way.


  9. I heard that if they weren't actually peace officers that you could shoot them. Is this true? How does this work? Do you need a license? I think this is wrong. These security people are just doing their job like anyone else trying to feed their families. Couldn't we just live trap them and set them free somewhere else?

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