LETTERS: Shock and support for Eileen & Trevor Wicks

February 4, 2022 – We received many reader responses to our story about the apprehensions of Eileen Wicks and her husband Trevor Wicks. All but two expressed shock, concern and support for the couple, and many also sent us copies of letters they have sent to watchdog agencies and to government officials at all levels. Here are just some of the comments we received, edited for length and privacy of third parties. — Editor

INJUSTICE SUCH AS THAT done to Trevor and Eileen Wicks needs to be exposed.  It is important to support and stand by people who are treated in such an inhumane way.  We have known Trevor and Eileen for 10 years.  They have contributed so much to the world and to our community.  Their list of kindness to others is a long one.  

Larry MacDougall and Susan Whitney, Qualicum Beach

I AM HORRIFIED AT what has happened to Trevor and Eileen Wicks. Your story about their abuse at the hands of the RCMP has driven a huge crack into what I believed about our community and our safety as law abiding citizens. This is not a Canada that I recognize.

I would also like to ask why this story is not being broadcast on larger more widespread media sources? What has happened to the Wicks is completely unacceptable. There must be accountability.

Joan Larson, Qualicum Beach

CAN YOU LET ME KNOW if there is any legal action or follow up regarding the report of an RCMP police led home invasion of the Eileen and Trevor Wicks home as reported in your newspaper recently. I am in shock and can’t fathom that this has not led to a major investigation of the local RCMP.

I have been a member of Amnesty International and B.C. Civil Liberties for decades and have become increasingly disappointed to see that they too try to toe the line in cases such as this that may cause public disapproval or disbelief which could discredit them. However I will contact them all with emails and registered letters demanding accountability. It is terrifying to me and should be to us all that many in authority appear to be able to disregard the law with impunity and the public tends not to question their excuses.

Patri Janyk, Courtenay, BC

I WAS HORRIFIED AT what Trevor and Eileen went through. No person or organisation should be able to use their power in this manner. Is there some follow up to this story? Have Social Services or the RCMP made a statement? I am also curious as to why this story wasn’t picked up by Global, CTV, CBC.

Marion Hicklin

Editor’s note: We are aware that many mainstream media outlets have been notified of the Wicks’ story but, to our knowledge, to date no other media outlet has reported on the events.

I AM WRITING TO EXPRESS my outrage at the forcible apprehension, arrest and separation, without explanation, of Trevor and Eileen Wicks on January 12, 2022… As a caregiver myself who cares for a medically disabled 28-year-old adult, I am horrified that the RCMP and Island Health were permitted this illegal and nonsensical over-reach of their authority.  This appears to be another heavy handed “wellness check” that totally traumatized two elderly frail people.  The only thing that would have made it any worse would be if the couple had been shot and killed, as the RCMP have been known to do during other “wellness checks” in Canada.

Scene around Town, snuggly tops, perfect for the not-quite-spring weather.

It is difficult enough for caregivers, generally without any help, to care for their disabled loved ones without being subjected to such horrific treatment.  Instead of providing meaningful assistance to Trevor to enhance his caregiving and provide him with respite, Island Health and the RCMP have destroyed this couple’s dignity, well being and sense of safety.  Whatever happened to the concept of allowing disabled people to live their lives in a familiar and loving environment with those that love them?

I have some experience with elders with dementia after experiencing it with my father, who suffered from dementia for 12 years, before he passed away in December 2020… It was very difficult for my mother to be Dad’s sole caregiver for 12 years and I couldn’t imagine how awful the consequences would have been if Island Health had decided to bring policemen to kick in her door, handcuff her, and roughly haul her and Dad away in similar circumstances as the Wicks’ case. What will now be especially devastating for Eileen is that her dementia will accelerate faster in NRGH now that she has been removed from her familiar home environment and from those who love her, and now that she is not experiencing any mental enrichment in her hospital room. 

So, my point is that this isn’t just a simple “oops” by the RCMP and Island Health.  What they have done to Eileen and Trevor will have lasting consequences on the elderly couple’s health and mental well being. 

Even more reason that this simply cannot be allowed to happen again.  There needs to be clear evidence of elder abuse/disabled person abuse before RCMP should be allowed to break into people’s homes, handcuff residents, and haul them away.  Plus, the RCMP used such heavy-handed physical handling of both the frail, elderly Wicks when they entered the Wick residence which was totally unnecessary.  Would anyone approve of having their frail, elderly parents handled in this way?

Sandra Paulsen, Pitt Meadows, BC

IF THE REPORTER WANTS to hear of another case, they can call [name & contact number withheld for privacy]. A few years ago the health authority apprehended his mother and he has been trying to locate her since. From the pieces I heard it was unbelievable. The worse part is [this man] does not know if his mother is alive or dead. He suspects she was sent out of the country. Fraser Health Authority and the Public Guardian and Trustee were involved. I also was involved in a case with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Public Guardian and Trustee. My husband died and the terror ended. Someone should document these cases as they do happen.

Audrey Lafferriere, Vancouver

I AM WRITING WITH RESPECT to this very unfortunate incident which occurred in our Town of Qualicum Beach. This is something which is very shocking and traumatic. Are you able to provide any information as to why this happened?

Diana Wood, Qualicum Beach

I WAS VERY ALARMED to read the story of Eileen and Trevor Wicks that Second Opinion QB published a few days back. My heart breaks for the husband, but mostly for the wife, as I know well how this kind of separation can seriously harm the sense of safety and cognitive health in a person with dementia. While I continue to see reports on other local pages there seems to be little *new* news. While I can appreciate the sensitivity of this situation I was hoping that Eileen Wicks would soon be released soon to the care of Trevor Wicks.

Deborah Morrison

WHAT HAPPENED TO this couple was horrific and is complete elder abuse!

Ted and Janice Haylow

READ previously Published Letters