Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld at the board’s last meeting before the Oct. 20, 2018 election. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press file)

Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld at the board’s last meeting before the Oct. 20, 2018 election. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press file)

Chilliwack-Hope community award program faces backlash for honouring controversial school trustee

MP Mark Strahl says the only criteria for the award was a nomination from the community

A community award program set up by Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl came under fire Sunday, following news that a controversial Chilliwack trustee received the award.

The Chilliwack-Hope Community Heroes Award was given out to more than 100 people in the communities and was intended for “those who went above and beyond to help and care for others,” Strahl said in a media statement on Monday.

The only criteria for the award was a nomination, he added. In the process, Trustee Barry Neufeld was nominated, and posted his award on his public Facebook page on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Critics were quick to point out that Neufeld has posted several questionable comments throughout the pandemic. He once posted that he believes Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam is transgender and as such, shouldn’t be trusted regarding the coronavirus. He was eventually censured by the school board for his comments.

Neufeld has also posted recently that “dozens of huge 747s are arriving in Vancouver completely empty.”

He continues: “But they are loading up with Chinese ex pats, their kids, their cats and dogs and all their belongings and returning to China. What is going on? Rats leaving a sinking ship? Fleeing before an invasion?”

In response to media requests about the awards, Strahl confirmed that the awards were given out based on nominations.

“Everyone who was nominated received an award, including two local school trustees: Barry Neufeld and Willow Reichelt,” he said. He also said that awarding Neufeld, or any other of the recipients, did not equal endorsement of their views or actions.

“These awards in no way serve to endorse any recipient’s personal views, including those of Mr. Neufeld,” he said. “I did not endorse nor oppose any nominations that were received from the community. I did not make any nominations myself.”

He added that he started the Community Hero Awards to thank those businesses, people and not-for-profits that came together to help each other.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school board censures controversial trustee Barry Neufeld


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNews

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

Just Posted

TEASER
WATCH: Surrey-made anti-bullying video urges youth to #BlockEmDontShareEm

“Break the chain by deleting the image and never forwarding – not even to a best friend’

File photo by Tom Zytaruk
Surrey 2021 tree sale begins Friday

City of Surrey says it’s selling quality trees for $20 each

Surrey RCMP on scene of a crash involving a motorized scooter and a car in the intersection of 102 Avenue and City Parkway on Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Photos: Shane MacKichan)
Elderly man sent to hospital after scooter crashes with car in Surrey

Surrey RCMP say it happened at about 8:30 a.m. in the intersection of 102 Avenue and City Parkway

Musician Grant Hill grew up in Surrey and now lives in Los Angeles. “Going to parties in Surrey, you could never let your guard down, even if you were the guy singing,” he says. (submitted photo)
With ‘Fly,’ Surrey-raised musician gives debut album wings at age 53

‘It took a little longer than expected… and I think it’s been worth the wait,’ says Grant Hill

The Washboard Union in the video for the song “If She Only Knew.”
WATCH: Washboard Union’s new ‘double feature’ videos filmed by Surrey director Barberis

‘Double feature’ release for the award-winning country music trio

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
RCMP investigating conflict between unmasked customer, staff at Burnaby Canadian Tire

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

UBC Okanagan students are among the most food insecure in Canada, according to a new study by UBC.
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UBC Okanagan students among most food insecure in Canada

42.3 per cent either can’t properly feed themselves, or are worried they will soon run out of money

Average response times for critical “purple” and “red” calls were between nine and 10 minutes Feb. 19 in Metro Vancouver, with only less critical “yellow” calls receiving an average response time of 45 minutes. The longer than usual delay was due to a combination of factors, BC Emergency Health Services said. (APBC image)
After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

B.C. Ambulance Service says high-priority calls were still 10 minutes or less

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Contributed to Kamloops This Week)
B.C. teen in turtleneck, lace-edged dress sent home from school for ‘inappropriate’ outfit

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson was told the lace on the garment made it look like a slip dress

Most Read