Skip to main content

'QAnon queen' has no clothes, Sask. village resident says

Share

After venting frustrations with a cult-like group camped out in their community since September, some residents of Richmound left a meeting with RCMP on Tuesday determined to carry on with their lives.

RCMP set up a mobile detachment in the remote village on Saturday, after receiving complaints including violent threats allegedly connected to supporters of Romana Didulo, the self-proclaimed “queen of Canada.”

Didulo is the leader of a fringe conspiracy group with a history of violent rhetoric who used the app Telegram to communicate with her followers and raise money.

Didulo and her inner circle have been camped at the now-privately owned village school for nearly a month, after being forced out of Kamsack by local residents and First Nations.

At a town hall meeting held by RCMP on Tuesday afternoon, residents pressed division commander Tyler Bates on what police were doing to guarantee their safety, as many complained Didulo’s supporters filmed them while out in public and followed them around.

After residents staged a public protest against the group in late September, the village office received a number of “cease and desist” letters, allegedly from Didulo’s supporters, threatening those who opposed them that they could be found guilty of treason and subjected to public execution.

“You’re not guaranteeing our safety at all,” one resident complained.

RCMP speaks to residents in Richmound, Sask. about a 'QAnon' group that is staying in a private property in the community that was formerly a school. (GarethDillistone/CTVNews)

Bates told CTV News RCMP officers were actively investigating the alleged threats, but he did not believe there was any imminent risk to the public.

“As Canadians we all have rights to speech, we have rights to freedom of movement and freedom of association. I understand that there’s emotions that are high on both sides, and certainly we did hear expressed that there’s some residents that just want these people gone. Certainly I can appreciate their perspective,” he said.

“All that said, we need to make sure that the Charter of Rights is respected for all citizens, inclusive of the Didulo group.”

The foremost concern in setting up the mobile detachment was to de-escalate tensions in the community, said Bates.

“I was hopeful that our arrival would alleviate some of that angst.”

As residents gathered in the town hall, two police officers sat positioned in their vehicles on either side of the school where Didulo’s group is camped out.

The mobile detachment is staffed 24/7, according to RCMP, a heavy sustained police presence for a village of 118.

CTV News has contacted the school property owner Rick Manz by phone but he declined to speak on the record.

Bates said officers are working to close the ongoing investigations in the village, including establishing whether the threatening letters were “criminal in nature.”

He says the mobile detachment is not an “atypical” response for Mounties working in regions with no nearby detachment.

Near the end of the meeting, Richmound resident Jody Smith got a round of applause when he stood up to say he wasn’t going to let the group disrupt his life.

Smith said he would still be taking his grandchild door-to-door for Halloween and wouldn’t be shutting himself inside like others have.

“I’m hopin’ this comes to a peaceful end,” said Smith.

“I’m old enough that all the cults that showed up in the 70s and that, they’re not around anymore. The things they believe in just don’t happen, and after a while it just kind of fades away and they disappear.”

Richmound is about 445 kilometres west of Regina.

-With files from Kayleen Sawatzky and Garreth Dillistone

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING Former prime minister Brian Mulroney dies at 84

Former Canadian prime minister and Conservative stalwart Brian Mulroney has died at age 84. Over his impressive career, the passionate and ambitious politician, businessman, husband, father, and grandfather left an unmistakable mark on the country.

Stay Connected