New Masset sergeant not new

  • Apr. 9, 2008 10:00 a.m.

The new RCMP sergeant coming to Masset is not really new. Although he has most recently been working at the Whitehorse RCMP detachment as a corporal, Grant MacDonald spent some of his younger years, between 1974 and 1983, in Masset. During that time his father, Claude MacDonald, was the postmaster and his mother, Margaret, worked at the Singing Surf. Cpl. MacDonald went to Tahayghen for Gr. 7 and G.M. Dawson for high school. When Masset came up as a promotional opportunity, Cpl. MacDonald said he jumped at the chance The 45 year-old, soon-to-be-sergeant won’t arrive until June, but he is already looking forward to his time here. “I’m humbled and honoured to come to a community that gave me a lot,” he said by telephone from Whitehorse. “I want to give back to the community.” Cpl. MacDonald has served 18 years with the RCMP and worked in communities as varied as Leduc, Albera; Fort Simpson, NWT; and Pond Inlet, Broughton Island and Cape Dorset, Nunavut. He’s devoted his career to small communities and says this has a lot to do with his upbringing on the islands. He’s especially interested in youth and aboriginal policing and spent four years as the youth strategy coordinator in Whitehorse. Although he has lots of ideas for engaging youth, he will wait until getting to Masset and meeting with municipal leaders as well as the youth themselves before discussing them. Cpl. MacDonald says a lot of things have changed since he lived in Masset. The military station was still active during his 10 years here and the population was around 2,500 people as compared with the current 950. Nevertheless, he says part of the excitement of the transition is that it is not new. He knows two of the detachment clerks; he babysat for one woman’s 6-year old son and the other he went to school with. He also went to school with the Mayor and some councillors. He has been back two or three times over the years, including a fishing trip with his wife in 1994. She’s from Alberta, he said, but much to his chagrin she outfished him. His wife and two children, ages 10 and 11 will not be moving from Whitehorse with him. Cpl. MacDonald said the family had many discussions about this, but in the end his wife’s job at a local hotel and his childrens’ recreational and school interests won out. His son and daughter enjoy the skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, dance and French immersion programs in Whitehorse. His family will spend the summers on the islands. Although it’s a family sacrifice, he will stay for two years here, and expects to extend that to three years He says this gives him the opportunity to fully dedicate himself to the community he was raised in.