RCMP officers arrive in council chambers Monday

LETTERS: Armed presence not democracy

Letter writers express concern for the messages being sent from White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin.

Editor:

Once again we have appalling behaviour and actions from Mayor Wayne Baldwin in chambers this week at Monday night’s regular White Rock council meeting.

The fact that he ordered the city clerk to call the RCMP to remove Margaret Woods because she was defending her right to speak at the public meeting process is simply appalling (Mayor calls in police to eject former councillor, Sept. 30). It is bullying at its best.

It’s an embarrassment that someone with the mayor’s experience would so offhandedly call in armed RCMP to remove a diminutive lady from the gallery, who is no threat to anyone.

Woods was cut off from exercising her Charter of Rights regarding free speech while at the mic. Baldwin then gave her a ridiculous ultimatum to apologize to basically everyone in the room for stating her opinion  regarding the development proposal on the table.

At one point, Woods was chastised openly by a stakeholder in the crowd, and ultimately the mayor did not call a point of order on her. But a lady who was in support of Woods was asked for her name, and then Baldwin asked the city clerk if she had recorded it.

Baldwin has lost his perspective if he thinks calling in the RCMP to chambers for the second meeting in a row is the way to respect democracy here in Canada.

This is the fifth time this year he has done so.

White Rock is, at the last time I looked, still in Canada which has a very clear Charter of Rights.

Garry Wolgemuth, White Rock

• • •

As a big fan of democracy, one of the saddest things I have ever witnessed was at White Rock City Hall on Sept. 14.

Those attending the rally calling for the resignation of Mayor Wayne Baldwin were met at the door by an armed RCMP officer.

We will never know how many people were deterred from attending council by the armed police presence, nor will be never know how many voices were silenced by the police presence in the council chambers.

Armed-police presence in council chambers is a violation of the principles of parliamentary procedure that governs our local government and democracy.

The fact that Baldwin feels it necessary to have armed police in council chambers is testament to the magnitude of dissatisfaction among the people of White Rock.

Ross Buchanan, White Rock

Return to harmony

What is going on? During the 21 years I have resided in White Rock, I’ve never heard so many people express such intense anger and resentment directed towards a mayor and some council members.

Given recent observations in the Peace Arch News by Mayor Baldwin, he knows at least some of what people are saying about the all-too-many controversial decisions being made on behalf of White Rock citizens. Especially unsettling is the mayor’s comment in council: “…so the thought that everybody is taking money under the table and all those things are completely erroneous,” A city in turmoil, Sept. 16).

Perhaps the mayor and a few councillors need to be completely transparent with the citizens they have been elected to serve, and share what is really going on.

Such action could bring harmony rather than the discord the present mayor and some council members have created among White Rock citizens.

Loren Houldson, White Rock

 

 

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