In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1984. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: Throughout the 1980s, programs that voluntarily fingerprinted children across North America became more common as a means of identifying children if they were to go missing. While these programs were meant to protect children, they also raised a lot of questions about privacy violations and the potential misuse of such records. In June 1984, 148 children in Whistler were fingerprinted by parents trained by the local RCMP. Unlike some of the other programs, however, the program in BC and the local program in Whistler promised parents that the fingerprint records would not be kept by the RCMP.
Question: What do you think of the fingerprinting program for children?
Chris Simpson – Student – Alta Vista
I thought it was a good idea that the police are getting kids identified. One of the kids said “what did I do?” but he wasn’t serious. The fingerprints are good to have just in case, but I don’t think they’ll be used.
Brigette Richters – Domestic Engineer – Alpine Meadows
I think it’s a great idea. It sounded like a good idea from the start – I wasn’t hesitant to take part in it. I don’t think I’d mind if the information was kept in police files.
Jan MacKenzie – Post Office Employee – Whistler Cay
I think it’s great. The younger ones were a bit difficult, but I feel better now that it’s done. I would think twice about letting the police keep the file. I grew up in the U.S. and the F.B.I. have my fingerprints. My parents never knew.