(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

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read