Nasty comments about Central Okanagan mayors increasingly common - InfoNews

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Nasty comments about Central Okanagan mayors increasingly common

Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/District of Peachland
May 21, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - Threats and verbal attacks on public officials are becoming increasingly common.

Last week, May 14, someone suggested Mayor Colin Basran be shot for his position on a Kelowna development on a Facebook post. Around the same time, another Central Okanagan mayor endured some public name-calling. 

At the Tuesday Peachland council meeting, Mayor Cindy Fortin had to evict a man after he called out that “she’s being a really grumpy bitch tonight.”

It took a couple of tries but he finally followed her orders to leave.

“He got a warning that, if it happens again, he won’t be coming back to council meetings or sitting in the gallery,” Fortin told today, May 21. “This person has typically behaved like this. I can’t let him get away with it.”

The comment came just after council voted on a sign variance for the controversial Peachtree development on the town’s waterfront.

That decision sparked an even harsher threat when it was approved by council last year. At that time a woman, apparently from the Lower Mainland, wrote on an anti-Peachtree Facebook page that someone should burn down Fortin’s house.

She reported that to the police but nothing further came of it.

“Someone said she apologized but she never apologized,” Fortin said. “I never heard a word from her.”

What did happen is that Fortin was evicted from her rental home.

“I’d been there for seven years,” Fortin said. “I’ve always been a good tenant. Shortly after the (Peachtree) vote came down, I received an eviction notice. I can’t prove that’s what it was, but I know what it was all about.”

Fortin has also had fishhooks “mysteriously” appear on her stairs.

She blames some of the increasing disrespect for politicians on U.S. President Donald Trump, more than social media, for allowing people to feel it’s OK to make nasty comments.

She suspects it’s also gender-based.

“People respond to women in a much nastier way than they would a man,” Fortin said. “I’ve seen that first hand. I even have people come up and make comments on my clothes and shoes. I never saw that over the last several terms. No one came up to the male mayor and said ‘oh, you’re wearing the same 1980s sports jacket again.’”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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