(Left to right) Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff, Coun. Maria McFadden, Coun. Florio Vassilikakis, CAO Chris Barlow, mayor Bruno Tassone, corporate services Tracy Butler, Coun. Cherryl Macleod, Coun. Dan Rye, Coun. Bergen Price.

Castlegar councillor apologizes for man’s anti-gay comments at public meeting

A resident had asked council not to repaint the rainbow crosswalk when repainting a major road

A city councillor in Castlegar issued a public apology last week after a man made homophobic comments during a recent council meeting.

“At the Monday, April 1, council meeting, a gentleman stood up and made some very inappropriate homophobic comments, along with comments about the homelessness in our community,” Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff wrote in a statements to Black Press Media. She also posted about it on her Facebook page.

READ MORE: B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

“When I got home, I could not sleep as it really bothered me that not one of us on council or our staff intervened to tell him to sit down and be quiet – and for that I sincerely apologize. I should have said something – we should have all said something.”

At the end of the meeting, when people can ask questions about any topic, Richard Switzer approached the microphone and asked that the city not repaint the rainbow crosswalk when crews repaint one of the main roads.

“We don’t need it. The Christiain comunity in Castlegar does not want that in the city on the streets,” Switzer said, adding that city staff did not consult with the church when planning the project.

“Don’t patronize the homosexual community. They don’t need it. They don’t deserve it.”

He also made unrelated inappropriate comments about homeless people during the same period of the meeting.

Heaton-Sherstobitoff said she struggled with how to handle the comments at the time.

“I now know that to prevent these inappropriate statements from happening in the future, it has to be addressed head-on.”

She added she plans to bring a friend to the May 21 council meeting to provide a presentation to councillors and staff on how to be an inclusive and safe community.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 has exacerbated the drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Surrey, White Rock officials say isolation, CERB, contributing to crisis

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

Surrey city staff hears restricting recovery homes to six clients won’t cut it

Corporate report notes there are more recovery homes in Surrey than in every other community in B.C. combined

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Most Read

l -->