Friday, 29 December 2017

EXPULSION FROM COUNCIL MEETINGS

THERE CONTINUES TO BE MUCH MADE BY SOME COUNCIL WATCHERS IN THE

 COMMUNITY  OVER THE NEAR - EXPULSION OF AN OLDER WOMAN FROM A

COUNCIL MEETING EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL INCIDENT TOOK PLACE MANY

MONTHS AGO.

 FOR THE RECORD, I WOULD LIKE TO STATE THE FACTS OF WHAT ACTUALLY

TOOK PLACE.

FIRST IT MUST BE NOTED THAT UNDER THE COMMUNITY CHARTER, S 132 STATES

THAT THE MAYOR MUST PRESERVE ORDER IN A COUNCIL MEETING.

S 133 STATES THAT IF THE PERSON PRESIDING AT A COUNCIL MEETING CONSIDERS

THAT ANOTHER PERSON AT THE MEETING IS ACTING IMPROPERLY, THE PERSON

PRESIDING MAY ORDER THAT THE PERSON IS EXPELLED FROM THE MEETING. AND,

IF THAT PERSON DOES NOT LEAVE , A PEACE OFFICER MAY ENFORCE THE ORDER AS

IF IT WERE A COURT ORDER.

IN ESSENCE, COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE QUASI-JUDICIAL AND

REQUIRE THE SAME LEVEL OF DECORUM AS A COURT ROOM.  UNFORTUNATELY,

SOME PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ACCEPTING THAT, AND APPEAR TO THINK

ATTENDING A  COUNCIL MEETING IS AKIN TO BEING IN THE COLOSSEUM AND THEY

ACT ACCORDINGLY.


THE OCCASION IN QUESTION WAS A PUBLIC HEARING CONSIDERING THE DESIGN OF

A  HOUSE.  A WOMAN SPOKE AGAINST THE BYLAW AMENDMENTS

UNDER CONSIDERATION. SOME OF HER COMMENTS WERE CONSIDERED TO BE

RACIALLY OFFENSIVE - TO THE POINT WHERE THE APPLICANT SPOKE AFTER HER TO

EXPRESS HOW HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE PERSONALLY OFFENDED AT HER

REMARKS.


THE WOMAN WAS ASKED THREE TIMES TO EITHER APOLOGIZE OR LEAVE THE

COUNCIL CHAMBERS   WHEN SHE REFUSED TO DO EITHER, THE MEETING WAS

RECESSED AND  THE POLICE WERE CALLED IN TO REMOVE HER..

UNFORTUNATELY,  NOT BEING FAMILIAR WITH THE COMMUNITY CHARTER, THEY

DID NOT THINK  THEY HAD THE AUTHORITY TO DO SO.

RATHER THAN GET INTO AN ARGUMENT WITH THEM AT THAT TIME,  I DECIDED TO

RESUME THE MEETING AND CARRY ON REGARDLESS.


I HAVE SINCE TALKED WITH THE DETACHMENT COMMANDER AND HE AGREED  THE

0FFICERS WHO ATTENDED WERE MISINFORMED AND APOLOGIZED FOR THE ERROR.


 NOTHING , INCLUDING AGE,  GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO MAKE

DEROGATORY, RACIST REMARKS.  THEY SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED .

NOR IS IGNORANCE  AN EXCUSE AS THE WOMAN WAS FORMERLY A MEMBER OF

COUNCIL.

IN FACT, SHE WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF COUNCIL WHO WAS EVER CENSURED BY

COUNCIL,  AND FOR HER OFFENCE OF STRIKING ANOTHER MEMBER OF COUNCIL

WAS CENSURED AND REMOVED FROM ALL COMMITTEES FOR THE BALANCE OF HER

TERM OF OFFICE . DESPITE SEVERAL TRIES SHE WAS NEVER RE-ELECTED.


IN SUMMARY, IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN CIVILITY AND RESPECTFUL

DISCOURSE IN COUNCIL MEETINGS, INCLUDING PUBLIC HEARINGS. NO ONE IN THE

AUDIENCE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DISRUPT THE MEETING , TO MAKE

DEROGATORY REMARKS ABOUT ANYONE ELSE, OR TO INTIMIDATE OR DETRACT

FROM ANOTHER'S PRESENTATION.

IT WOULD BE VERY EASY FOR ME TO SIMPLY SAY, "LET 'ER RIP" AND TRY TO WORK

WITH THE RESULTANT CHAOS. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT WHAT I WAS ELECTED TO

DO.

SO, AS LONG AS I AM MAYOR, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE ORDER, AND

RESPECTFUL DISCOURSE WILL PREVAIL IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS.
CANADA DAY 2017

TODAY WE ARE CELEBRATING THE 150TH BIRTHDAY OF OUR COUNTRY – 150 YEARS SINCE CONFEDERATION.
WE ARE A YOUNG COUNTRY.
 BUT IN OUR SHORT TIME AS A COUNTRY WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A GREAT DEAL.
WE ARE A COUNTRY THAT HAS CHOSEN DIVERSITY RATHER THAN EXCLUSION. AND TODAY THAT IS DEFINITELY ONE OF OUR GREATEST ATTRIBUTES AND STRENGTHS.
WE HAVE MADE MISTAKES IN OUR PAST, AND DOUBTLESS WILL MAKE MORE IN THE FUTURE.
THERE ARE SOME MISTAKES THAT CARRY GREAT SHAME AND GUILT- FOR EXAMPLE: THE KOMAGATA MARU INCIDENT IN 1914; THE TREATMENT AND INCARCERATION OF JAPANESE CANADIANS IN WW 2; AND PROBABLY THE WORST OF ALL – THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM .

I AM TRULY GRATEFUL TO HAVE CHIEF HARLEY CHAPPELL HERE TODAY TO DELIVER HIS BLESSING AND HIS TEACHING, AND TO WELCOME US TO THE SEMIAHMOO TRADITIONAL LANDS AS WE CELEBRATE CANADA DAY.
ON APRIL 25, 1999 TWO TOTEMS WERE RAISED IN WHAT IS KNOWN AS TOTEM PARK. THE POLES WERE COMMISSIONED TO ACCOMPLISH 2 THINGS : FIRST, TO COMMEMORATE THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RCMP, AND SECOND, TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND APOLOGIZE FOR THE WRONGS THAT WERE VISITED UPON THE FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE BY THE RCMP IN EXECUTING THE MOST WRONG – MINDED LAW WE HAVE EVER HAD – THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM , WHICH BASICALLY TRIED TO DESTROY A PEOPLES CULTURE AND CULTURAL MEMORIES.
IN ESSENCE, THE RAISING OF THESE TOTEMS WAS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS RECONCILIATION – 10 YEARS BEFORE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDERTOOK THE SAME CAUSE, AND 18 YEARS BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT REMOVED THE NAME OF HECTOR LANGEVIN, ONE OF THE ACKNOWLEDGED FATHERS OF CONFEDERATION, FROM THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING IN OTTAWA, BECAUSE LANGEVIN WAS ONE OF THE STRONGEST ADVOCATES OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM.
CONSEQUENTLY, THE TOTEMS HAVE A SHARED VALUE – THEY  HONOUR THE CULTURES OF BOTH OUR COMMUNITIES, AND THEY HONOUR THE ROLE OF THE RCMP – WHO ARE HERE TODAY PROVIDING US WITH PROTECTION AND SECURITY.

SO, WITH THAT IN MIND TODAY, WE ARE CELEBRATING AND ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SHARED HISTORY.
AT TIMES IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING TO REFLECT UPON, BUT IN OTHER INSTANCES IT IS INSPIRING AND EXEMPLIFIES THE VALUES THAT DEFINE US TODAY AS CANADIANS. SUCH VALUES PROMPTED FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. , BARRACK OBAMA TO DECLARE “THE WORLD NEEDS MORE CANADA”.
WE ARE TRULY BLESSED TO LIVE IN SUCH AN INCREDIBLE COUNTRY.
IN 2017, THE U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT RANKED CANADA NO. 1 OUT OF 80 FOR QUALITY OF LIFE , AND WHEN ALL OTHER FACTORS INCLUDING CULTURAL INFLUENCE, ENTRPRENEURSHIP , AND BEING OPEN FOR BUSINESS, WERE FACTORED IN WE CAME SECOND ONLY TO SWITZERLAND.
THERE ARE OTHER ATTRIBUTES THAT MAKE US TRULY GREAT:
DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW.
A RELATIVELY PEACEFUL AND UNIFIED POPULATION.
AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND MULTICULTURALISM.



WE ARE A PEACEFUL COUNTRY, BUT THAT PEACEFUL DEMEANOR DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE CANNOT STEP UP WHEN IT COUNTS AS WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY SHOWN AT THE SOMME, VIMY, DIEPPE, JUNO BEACH, THE SCHELDT, KAPYONG IN KOREA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, AND KANDAHAR.
AND THEN WE HAVE THE SNOWBIRDS.
SO YES, WE HAVE A LOT TO BE PROUD OF.
DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH, SO LET US ALL STRIVE TO ENSURE A BETTER FUTURE FOR SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS OF CANADIANS OF ALL ETHNIC ORIGINS. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

HAPPY CANADA DAY , EVERYONE