From left, Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and candidate Gordon Hogg. (Leeann Jade Wells photo)

VIDEO: It’s ‘disrespectful’ that White Rock council not notified of Trudeau visit: mayor

PM should be welcomed to city by council, not former mayor and First Nation chief, Baldwin says

Mayor Wayne Baldwin says it’s “extremely disappointing, disrespectful and a total breach of protocol” that City of White Rock council was not notified of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the city last Wednesday.

Trudeau visited Laura’s Coffee Corner and Five Corners Cafe to show support for Liberal candidate and former White Rock mayor Gordon Hogg in the upcoming South Surrey-White Rock byelection Dec. 11.

Baldwin told council Monday evening that he took issue with the prime minister being welcomed into the community by Hogg and Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell, and not White Rock council.

“When a sitting prime minister visits a city, it’s only reasonable to expect that welcome would come from the mayor and council, not from the former mayor and a nearby First Nations chief,” Baldwin said during the mayor’s report at the end of council’s regular meeting, noting the slight was “exacerbated” by “the group” entering city hall to get warm prior to visiting the coffee shop.

“The fact that the Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Chappell, who lives in Chilliwack, was invited in sufficient time to make it here would indicate that the time is not really a factor,” Baldwin said.

Chappell, who says Hogg is a “longtime friend of Semiahmoo,” told Peace Arch News Tuesday that he received a “personal call” from Hogg before the prime minister’s visit.

Although there wasn’t time for an official welcoming to the community, Chappell said, he spent about two minutes with the prime minister, shook his hand, and “acknowledged him to the unceded traditional territory of the Semiahmoo people.”

“It was just a very informal welcome,” Chappell added.

More than 1,000 people – young and old – attended the afternoon event. Notified Tuesday afternoon, PAN published an article online at www.peacearchnews.com, letting the community know of the prime minister’s impending visit.

Coun. David Chesney said during his councillor report that he “did enjoy having the opportunity to meet the prime minister when he was here.”

“Not sure exactly where I heard about it, probably Laura’s Coffee Shop. It was very short notice,” he said.

Hogg could not be reached for comment at PAN press time Thursday morning.

However, a statement emailed to PAN from Hogg’s campaign team says that a public advisory was sent for the visit, “but our campaign certainly apologizes for the oversight and regrets that these important additional conversations were missed this time.”

“We respect and appreciate the comments made by the Mayor and some members of White Rock City Council about ensuring they are fully apprised of all visits by Mr. Trudeau, even if those visits are in his capacity as Leader of the Liberal Party,” the statement read.

Chesney said the prime minister’s visit marked the fifth time a sitting prime minister has visited White Rock, “according to Tom Saunders, our resident part-time historian.”

Baldwin, who also made note that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was in South Surrey the same day to support candidate Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, encouraged the community to vote in the Dec. 11 byelection.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Four years for manslaughter in Surrey drive-by shooting

Mahdi Halane was rendered a quadriplegic until his death in hospital six years later at age 24.

Author at Surrey event glad to have book published ‘before reality totally overtakes fiction’

Ari Goelman, a business and criminology instructor, speaks at KPU Reads gathering Jan. 22

South Surrey overpass repairs to get underway in February

Schedule for Bailey bridge work also announced

White Rock cannabis and adult entertainment bylaws to move to public hearings

Council will seek input on potential of allowing contentious businesses in city limits

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

Simulated whale rescue on White Rock beach

Training endeavour aimed to ready crews for future strandings

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read