Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran makes plea for civility after facing on-line threat - InfoNews

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Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran makes plea for civility after facing on-line threat

At a press conference today, May 15, 2019, Mayor Colin Basran was joined, left to right by his mother, children and wife. On his right are councillors Loyal Wooldridge and Gail Given.
May 15, 2019 - 4:34 PM

KELOWNA - Flanked by family and two city councillors at a brief news conference at City Hall this afternoon, Mayor Colin Basran said it was unfortunate that he had to be there to talk about “objectionable and inappropriate behavior.”

Basran was responding to a social media comment he responded to on Instagram this morning. He was joined by his wife Leanne, children and mother, along with councillors Gail Given and Loyal Wooldridge.

These are some of his comments:

“As elected officials, it truly is an honour to lead our community. We are tasked with making numerous decisions, both large and small, that we hope will positively benefit our community not only now, but for years to come.

“But we, as elected representatives know, that decisions we make face public scrutiny and, regardless of the outcome, not everyone will be satisfied. Criticisms of our decisions and debating issues facing our community is nothing new and it often helps lead to better outcomes.

“But, on-line comments made by one of our residents yesterday, encouraging violence, is where we draw the line. By ignoring the comment and not saying anything, to me, would just be condoning this type of behavior.

“I have to stand up for my council colleagues and elected representatives at all levels to say that this incident is not acceptable under any circumstance. It’s unacceptable to me. It’s unacceptable to my family and I’m sure it’s unacceptable to the majority of society.

“But this isn’t just about me. Democracy is sometimes messy and controversial issues sometimes generate strong feelings. That’s what makes our community strong. Exercising an open mind, humility and mutual respect and, especially with those with whom we disagree.

“The bigger issue here is about civility and a collective commitment to civil discourse. More than ever it’s vital to challenge those who use personal attacks, on-line bullying or vulgar language to stifle opposing points of view.

“This is not the behaviour that encourages that diverse and inclusive community we are all working so hard to build.

“Simply put, it’s sad that I have to stand here before you to make a plea for civility and talk about why bullying and harassment are intolerable.

Kelowna RCMP arrested a 52-year-old Kelowna man on suspicion of making the threat. He was released under strict conditions and is expected to appear in court on June 24. Criminal charges may be filed.


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