VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An Christian activist says he was given a break on a speeding ticket in B.C.’s Interior.
Bill Whatcott took to social media to “praise God” after he says he found religious common ground with a fellow Christian — the officer who pulled him over.
A prolific anti-gay activist, facing a Human Rights complaint filed by Trans activist Morgane Oger, Whatcott says he was pulled over for driving 30km above the speed limit near Clearwater on Saturday.
He posted about the incident on Facebook.
Just pulled over by police in Clearwater BC on my way to BCHRT trial. Officer says I was 30 km over. I was certain I was…
He followed up with a comment on his post, writing:
“Praise God in all things! RCMP officer was a Christian. Gave me $60 off on the ticket and I was able to educate him on the hate crime charge in Ontario and gave him a copy of my newest flyer.”
The implication has sparked backlash on Twitter, including from Stacey Wakelin, a Langley-based gay rights activist.
— @staceywakelin (@staceywakelin) December 10, 2018
Wakelin says a discount would be inappropriate if it was granted because of his religion.
“I’m not a religious person. It concerns me that an RCMP officer is giving a discounted ticket to someone based on their religious belief. I don’t agree with that,” Wakelin said.
She says she understands officers often use discretion when issuing tickets, depending on the situation. But this incident struck her as something different.
“I’m a big believer that there should be a separation between church and state, I guess you could say,” she added.
Wakelin is hoping to hear some kind of explanation from the force.
Whatcott was previously found guilty of distributing hateful pamphlets by the Supreme Court. Speaking with NEWS 1130, he backed off his initial story and says he’s not certain religion was the reason for the discount.
“I don’t know that was his over-riding motivation,” he said. “He kind of realized I wasn’t deliberately speeding. But yeah, he and I are Christians.”
“He didn’t let me off. He gave me $130 [ticket],” Whatcott added.
RCMP have not yet commented on the incident.