Conscience and Contracts: Whose Conscience, Whose Contracts?
Ron Bolin: May 6, 2014
On Monday, May 5, in a last minute addition to the agenda of Nanaimo’s Committee of the Whole (Council-COW) meeting, Councillor Pattje put forward a motion which instructed the Management of the VICC (Atlific) not to take, or presumably at this late date to revoke, a booking for the “Beyond You” Leadercast, sponsored by the Nanaimo Daily News and Coastal Communities. This program was a day long live simulcast event presenting motivational speakers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Laura Bush, Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek and others, “For everyone who wants to learn how to lead”. The program was scheduled for this Friday, May 9, and had been advertised in ads running for some time in the Daily News. It may be noted that Coastal Communities, earlier shown as a co-sponsor with the Nanaimo Daily News disappeared from the ad shown in the May 6 paper. The May 7 paper showed the program, which carried a $60 registration fee, as cancelled.
Councillor Pattje’s motion:
It was moved and seconded that the City of Nanaimo advise the VICC that as owners of the facility, any events that are associated with organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness, homophobia, or other expressions of hate (are anathema to the City of Nanaimo? RB) , and as such advise the VICC to not permit the upcoming Leadercast event to occur in a City owned facility that is scheduled for May 9,, 2014.
was based on complaints from Nanaimo’s LGTB community which stemmed from the previous and perhaps continuing background sponsorship of corporations and persons in the US who have been active and vociferous in fighting gay marriage. See:
This issue apparently led to the cancellation of the program last year. This year Councillor Pattje stated that fingerprints from that organization can still be found though not in the advertisement for the event.
Also this year, the inclusion on the speakers roster of a Dr. Henry Cloud, a psychiatrist who apparently believes that homosexuality is not a genuine human trait, but rather a malfunction which to be treated and cured. It is not difficult to understand why the gay community would be upset with this speaker and his theories though there is no reason to believe that he would be speaking on this subject in his livecast presentation this year.
For a complete understanding of what took place at Monday’s Council (COW) meeting one should view the actions of Council in the video of the meeting at:
On the menu one can move directly to item 11 at 4:39pm. The motion made by Councillor Pattje passed with only one dissenting vote (Councillor McKay).
Is there a problem with this course of events? I would say that there are underlying dangers in such actions which jeopardize the credibility, standing and, at least in this case, the assets of the City of Nanaimo.
It is difficult to justify: “organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness, homophobia, or other expressions of hate…” and I do not propose to do so. However, whether anyone or anything that may be associated in any way with such organizations or people creates an automatic basis for censure is, in my mind, at best obscure and at worst potentially as pernicious as the evil which it purports to overcome.
Added to the matters of conscience which afflict both positions, is the matter of contracts which is certainly less obscure, if still rife with questions. Was there a contract between the presenters of the live cast and its local sponsors in Nanaimo? Was there a contract between the local sponsors of the event and the VICC Corporation or Atlific, the firm designated to operate the VICC? There is certainly a contract between the VICC Corporation and the City which, if a claim is made could well be found in breach. Which, if any, of these contracts could make the City liable for damages? When I asked City Staff after the meeting if a legal opinion in this matter had been sought, I was informed that it had not. I was flabbergasted.
As if this were not enough, the wording of the motion: “any events that are associated with organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness, homophobia, or other expressions of hate…” leads to the implication that not only the organization presenting the livecast, but also its sponsors and presenters, may be indirectly promoting “divisiveness, homophobia or other expressions of hate”. I wonder if Archbishop Tutu, Laura Bush, Malcolm Gladwell and the others speakers are aware of the censure of such association by the City. If this interpretation is correct (I do not claim to be a lawyer), the City could find itself guilty of both slander and libel and to have put us at serious risk of legal costs. This, of course, remains to be seen.
I have been asked by several of the actors in this matter whether I would rent a facility to Neo-Nazis and was forced to consider this proposition. Two immediate questions of contract present themselves:
- Am I to respond before or after signing a contract? and
- If the latter, am I accepting any possible liability on my own behalf or on that of others.
If I understand the present situation correctly, the answer is that service was denied after entering into a valid contract and that unknown liability was thus accepted on behalf of the citizens of Nanaimo. These are question requiring legal opinion and as I have been told, the City neglected to seek such opinions.
As for the question of conscience involved, when I asked myself whether I would rent to neo-Nazis, I was also forced to ask myself what neo-Nazis might do under similar circumstances. The answer that I found was that the neo-Nazis would probably do precisely what the City Council of the City of Nanaimo has done. So where is the moral superiority?
We had best now look at the backgrounds of any group which wishes to rent a City facility not only for illegal activities, but for opinions, direct or indirect, which may rouse the ire of some group of citizens. What stand are we to take on the Right to Life controversy, for example. Democracy is fragile and we confuse our individual consciences and the laws and contracts that govern our society at its and our peril.
In the meantime, we need a list of such people and organizations as may fall under the purview of the motion adopted to be published in order to avoid possible contract difficulties in the future.
Your opinion on this issue is requested.
I would seem , to me, that there is blame to be placed on all parties to this decision.
The convention centre is under pressure to make the rent & has taken on some odd renters & conventioneers! to pay the day.
From church to $dollar store the list is an assortment of desperation not business sence.
That they, the convention centre, would accept homophobes is likely an oversight that would have passed unoticed by the general public.
I think Fred Patje is either in re election mode or is overly sensitive to the situation.
Homophobia is not dead nor is racism but pales to the extremes of even ten years ago .
That the city managers did not consider the legal implications is consistent with their amateur approach to ,all too, many situations.
All considered ; I think this is a none event.
I am more concerned with the move toward moving on from the “Shaw” auditorium/ council hall to more logo ,private partnership oriented city events & buildings.
I would seem that as with the convention centre we will sell our souls for the almighty $$$dollar.
But what is the motion Bestwick is bringing to Council at its next meeting? According to one radio report there will be such a motion.
A Code of Conduct should be set out in VICC Mission Statement and included in every Booking Contract thus making expectations clear to all participants.
And it should include recognize the basic freedoms of expression, conscience and religion. If so, City Council could not meet there.
Too difficult to define.
Too difficult to enforce.
Better that we have an ‘educated’ staff that can foresee problems rather than a staff that see’s nothing passed bookings.
This decision is a very dangerous one and a very slippery slope. Is this council now telling everyone who lives in the City of Nanaimo that holds a religious belief different to theirs (or at all) that they are not allowed to use City owned property? The agenda of the event in question was a positive one that had nothing whatsoever to do with the issues and opinions that some council members object to. It is time that everyone understood that having differing opinions is not hate mongering. It’s simply having a different opinion. We need to be able to disagree without it being labelled a hate crime or a criminal point of view. Councillor McKay was the lone voice of reason. The rest of this council overreacted and that overreaction was thoughtless and dangerous. And they now must diligently and carefully repair the damage they have caused.
I agree with you, Cheryl, that to hold different opinions than others is not ‘hate’. You’d think these councillors would realize that expecting homogeneity of opinion is ridiculous. Some of these councillors were actually in favour of censoring others (but of course not the ones they personally agree with). And they call this tolerance? They have no idea that the ‘scary’ Dr Henry Cloud actually stands for loving each other and ‘doing unto others as you would have others do unto you’. And Chick-Fil-A? Their ‘hate’ was so blatant as to make a principled stand about marriage being a God-instituted covenant between a man and a woman. Oh so scary…
To me the frightening part is the suppression of freedom of thought, of speech, of assembly, of religion. All those rights conferred on us by our Judeo-Christian principled ancestors.
This fall Nanaimo voters should turf all the Councillors except for McKay, the lone voice of reason.
As a member of the GLBT community of Nanaimo, I do not agree with the councils decision to ban this event from Nanaimo. Upon researching the purpose of this conference (LEADERSHIP, not to spew anti-gay rhetoric) and some of the speakers (Desmond Tutu who has received many pro-humanitarian awards and supports equal rights for everyone) I feel it’s incredibly short-sighted to ban the conference merely because the CEO of one of the many sponsors supports traditional marriage. Censorship in any form is not progressive or helpful to society.
Well said Shalyn. You cannot fight intolerance with more intolerance.
Nanimo City Council seems to think that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to the Convention Centre. They and Nanaimo taxpayers are about to learn that it does and it will be a very expensive lesson for them. Rest assured, litigation is coming.
Shalyn you should run for council. The GLBT community has historically gained its rightful place in society based on the freedoms granted us through our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This council has acted in the same way that previous unenlighted Canadian society behaved against the GLBT. Ironic and sad that they where blind
Well said, Shalyn. Thanks for your reasoned comments!
So, as I understand this, the Mayor and councillors, (except for McKay), ordered the cancellation of a live simulcast event, which was booked for May 9th, with motivational speakers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Laura Bush, Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek, etc. Didn’t one of those speakers, (Simon Sinek), actually speak at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre in March, 2013?
I have to say that I’m also having difficulty with this … As a Canadian citizen, born in Canada, I am entitled to my Charter rights … such as freedom of expression .. on any matter, (as long as I don’t libel or slander anyone), and if I happen to have a differing view than my neighbour on any issue, whatsoever, according to the above, I am apparently, spewing “hatred”? As I understand it, the motion that council supported, (except for McKay), is NOT restricted to “homophobia”.
I thought the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied to ALL Canadians and aren’t ALL of Nanaimo’s taxpaying citizens actually paying for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre? So, in the case of people, who had actually chosen to attend the live simulcast event, that right to choose was taken away from them?
As I understand this, the Mayor and councillors, (except for McKay), have ordered the operator of the VICC to vet all potential bookings. I would be very grateful if someone could please let me know who granted powers of censorship to the City of Nanaimo’s elected officials.
Convention planners will just avoid the Nanaimo Convention Centre rather than submit their list of speakers and sponsors to the board of censors (a.k.a. Nanaimo City Council). More red ink for taxpayers to cover.
The following is from the Criminal Code of Canada regarding hate propaganda and I would appreciate it if a member(s) of Nanaimo City Council could enlighten me by naming the speaker(s), whom you believed were going to be in violation of the Code if an individual heard them speak at the “Beyond You” Leadercast event, which was scheduled to be simulcast at the taxpayer-owned VICC, the subject matter of which, had nothing whatsoever to do with hatred.
Section 319: Public incitement of hatred
319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Wilful promotion of hatred
(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.
My sincere wish is that this characteristic and example of leadership does not spread to other city councils.
My letter published in Nanaimo Daily News on May, 30, 2014.
“Directive on cancellation by council far-reaching”
Is it far reaching? The Jehovah’s Witnesses will be using the Frank Crane Arena from June 6 to June 8 for a “World Government Rally/” I have nothing against Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they are also against same sex marriage. Why do we not send them packing as well?
And when will we be told the sum which we will have to pay for our previous thoughtless eviction. I am sure that those who brought the show to town and spent money on advertising will need to be compensated. And we citizens lost money due on the rent of the facility (or we paid it ourselves), and Archbishop Tutu will be in Canada soon. Will he or others want to be compensated for the implied smirch on their character, i.e. not being able to detect the smell of hate as competently as did our Council.
I await hearing the final cost of this act of theatre.
In this case the smell of hate is being emitted by members of Council.
It appears, correctly to my way of thinking, that this issue will not be going away. At Monday’s (June 16,2014) COW Council meeting (in the VICC starting at 4:30) there are currently three written submissions on this matter and a delegation request. Among these four submissions which include both an MLA and an MP, sentiments are divided in half. It remains to be seen if there will be more delegation requests as the parties directly financially impacted are thus far not represented. How much City taxpayers lost by means of Councils’ precipitous action in this affair remains to be seen. How much may be lost in the future as this policy decision plays out is also a mystery. Surely all kinds of groups can use the precedent set to direct the City’s agenda.
Ron: I agree with you. This should be on the radar screen of every citizen and needs to see the light of day. First of all, the matter was brought forth for council’s consideration via a last-minute motion at a committee of the whole meeting, which, of course, is not as accessible to the public, as is a televised regular council meeting.
Wonder when the facts of the matter were presented to the mayor and council?
Janet: I have emailed Mayor and Council requesting the costs to date to Nanaimo taxpayers related to the cancelling of the Leadercast event, i.e. rental, advertising, and other costs. I will also raise it at Monday’s COW meeting.
It may interest you to know that the City of Nanaimo will soon be hearing from the BC Civil Liberties Association.
I must correct myself… Both letters to Council on this matter are from our MPs: Ms. Crowder and Mr. Lunney. Sorry for any confusion that may have arisen.
Was the letter from Crowder one of support for the City Council directive? Just asking.
As a citizen of Nanaimo and a Christian I am disgusted and insulted with what I believe is a clear case of discrimination towards Christians with in this community. Have a look around you council men and count the Christian Churches you see in this city. What percentage of the people you aim to govern do you think have been adversely effected such prejudice?
The only conclusion that can be drawn from the rejection of this years leadership summit is a public display of inequality towards Christians, from the sounds of it this is the second time.
As for the comment on Nazi’s. I know that this was a commentator who said this, however the reaction of council on this is brutal. To paint Christians with the same brush as Nazis simply because they take a stand upon the word of God is a gross injustice. Council should have distinguished between Christians and Nazis as they would have if someone was equating gays with Nazis, its only fair. Christians are not propagating hate against homosexuals nor unequal treatment of them as citizens here in Nanaimo. The fact is that we don’t agree on the topic of homosexuality, this in no way should keep either party from public venue should it?
Five or six thousand JW’s came to town ; no problem !
Do you want prayer at Council meetings?
As for painting ‘Christians” with the same brush; ask the first nations residential school survivors.
WTF does this have to do with this thread?
So, I guess you were in a residential school ? I doubt it.
Nobody is calling for prayers at council meetings, just some common sense.
You’re quite the rude little man.
Just Intolerant of the intolerant!!
Watch this and weep for Nanaimo:
Yes, all but one member of Council fits this description.
This entire council should be sued and forced to resign for libel and slander.
That video link should never be shared, it is offensive to logic and extremely sensationalized. There is no anti-Christian rhetoric happening here. Let’s be realistic! You lost me at Sun News.
There was a lot of anti-Christian rhetoric at the council meeting. Dangerously so. I don’t agree that the sensationalized response by Ezra Levant was helpful to the discussion but I do think the discussion is an important one. It helps when the level-headed people stay involved. I would hate to lose your voice in this discussion because the voices of those that tend towards extreme responses are shouting the loudest.
Please stay involved in this. It is an important discussion about civil rights and learning to be respectful to each other even when we disagree.
The motion makes reference to any group which has held hateful or decisive opinions in the past. Has anyone examined the past laws of Nanaimo for any policies in the past that might be construed as hateful or divisive by today’s standards — even anti gay positions? If there were any such laws, then under this new motion is Nanaimo City Council obligated to relocate to some other facility before their next meeting? Seriously.
As a tax paying citizen of Nanaimo, I am appalled at what passed for debate or discussion before this motion was passed. Except for councillor McKay and the city manager who was obviously not comfortable with the way this motion was going down, I think the council deserves some sort of official reprimand. Do we have the power to impeach them? :-)
All offended Chritians should file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal against the City and the 8 members of Council. That would be more effective than impeachment.
Having sown the wind, Council is reaping the whirlwind. Confusion between ideas and deeds, acts and reflections is bringing out the worst in us. Beware how you define the world, it IS that way.
The question of neo-Nazis is misleading. a) There was nothing in the conference that anyone could find objectionable. b) Most of the councillors were talking out of their hats and clearly had no idea of anything c) The LGBT “community” can say and do whatever it wants and apparently the Nanaimo city council feels obliged to accept it and pile on.
At the end of the day .
Nero fiddles whilst Rome burns..
This reminds me of the issue before the Supreme Court of Canada, in Shell Canada Products Ltd. v. Vancouver (City),  1 SCR 231. The City Council of Victoria had resolved not to do business with Royal Dutch/Shell, until its involvement with South African apartheid ended. The Court held that the City had acted without authority, as its statutory powers didn’t extend to legislating events outside its territorial borders, and that if that weren’t enough, the resolution constituted “unauthorized discrimination”.
Nanaimo City Council passing this motion is strikingly similar, and like Victoria, I doubt it has the legal authority to do it.
What really disturbs me is the breach of natural justice in the administrative process. Not only was this not even debated, but absolutely no notice was provided to the organizers of the event, who weren’t afforded any opportunity to be heard. This blatant disregard for administrative fairness is shocking enough.
The Council tactics used in this case remind me of those used by kangaroo courts of Nazi Germany. All innuendo and hearsay that appeal to deeply held prejudices without any chance for the accused to be heard. Such is the calibre of Councillors elected by the people of Nanaimo.
Just another good reason for not visiting Nanaimo.
Remember you elected them.
So I’ve watched this meeting in question a couple of times, and read commentaries from many people, and I do apologize if someone else has brought this forward and I’ve just not noticed it, but can someone please provide a logical explanation that would find the Nanaimo City Council not guilty themselves of being one of these such
“organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness, homophobia, or other expressions of hate…”
Now some could argue that by tearing up a contract four days prior to an event without giving this organization even a voice is not in itself an expression of hate, and of course the council is not expressing homophobia, but they themselves are very much promoting divisiveness which according to Oxford Dictionairies is defined as “Tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people.” So by their own definition the council should no longer be permitted to use city property.
Since this very poorly thought out decision by council which contradicts the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has proven that these leaders are not acting in the best interest of the citizens who elected them I’m sure that upon the next election they will find out exactly where their fate is, however I fear that they may have put not only themselves, but the tax paying citizens into a liability for which there may be quite costly legal ramifications. Very short sighted I must say.
My understanding is that the conference was a a Christian conference. Some of the comments I viewed on a TV program rebroadcasting parts of the council meeting were blatantly anti-Christian. 7 of 8 council members passed a motion denying a Christian group use of the facility. They apparently are not aware or considering that Canada has laws and a Charter of rights which guarantees freedom of religion, belief, and association. We live in a pluralistic society and are protected from this kind of intolerance by a Charter of fundamental rights. This is Canadian law. People of all religious faiths should be seriously concerned about this because it could be them next shown the door by some intolerant council or other authority. The Charter of rights should be respected for all citizens and faiths, unless it has been officially deemed a terrorist organization by federal government authorities. Furthermore this was apparently done without legal council or without giving the organization an opportunity to speak on the matter and answer for themselves.
City council has sent a clear message — hold our political and religious beliefs or city resources will be denied you.
In other words, they are using the government to compel others to hold their beliefs. This is a violation of the constitution, which gurantees freedom of religion and conscience, and a violation of the public trust.
May these petty tyrants be rewarded at the polling stations.
They will be supported at the polls. That is the scary part.
This is blatantly illegal. I hope City Council is brought to justice. The fact that it is on video provides damning evidence of intolerance, bigotry, and the smearing of an individual and an organization. No evidence was tabled to back their blatant attempts to mislead the public record. They referred to a Dr. Henry Cloud at a hate monger, but he is on record coaching Christians to hang out with and love their gay neighbours. How is this homophobic or hateful? How is it not a defamation of his character?
This is also breach of contract. If the justice system does not act, it sets a precedence that this illegal activity is okay.
This is unprofessional and breaks the sacred trust members of the public should be able to have with their public servants as it is a blatant violation of human rights – it prohibited the right to freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech in a public square.
This cannot go unpunished. If it goes unpunished then it sends a message that censorship, and rights restriction is okay. What happens when the council becomes full of right-wing conservatives, and they start banning LGBTQ events? They have been given all the tools and legal precedence they need to do so if this goes unpunished.
The results of Ezra Levant’s video and writing about the way in which Nanaimo’s Council handled the Leadercast situation have reverberated all over the country in a fashion which has held Nanaimo and its citizens up to ridicule. Mr. Levant’s presentation of Council as a band of unthinking anti-Christians was grossly unfair, lampooned them outrageously and was so grotesque as to defeat his own main point which was that Council had no business making any judgements of the type they made on the Leadercast event.
This was just one more, and perhaps the the most politically damaging of Council’s attempts to deal with issues immediately either in secret sessions or raised in open Council meetings without adequate due diligence or reasoned discussion. From the Colliery Dams to leadercast our leaders have too often shown poor judgement in representing those who they have been elected to serve.
This practice seems to be continuing in this matter. I sent the following message to Council a few minutes ago regarding this ongoing train wreck:
Mayor Ruttan and Councillors:
I note that a “Special” Council meeting was called this morning under Community Charter Section 90(1) to discuss actual or possible legal problems. If, as I suspect, this had anything to do with the Leadercast event, I wish to note that under Section 90(1) you had the option of having an open meeting on this situation. If I am correct, I believe it was another serious error to not have that discussion in public. This mess needs to be faced head-on. Further actions in the dark can only make this situation worse and more protracted. I do not appreciate my town being pilloried all over the country for what I consider to have been a well meaning but misplaced error in judgement. Please report ASAP on this meeting and lance the boil that has been created.
I can only hope that his situation is resolved as quickly as possible.
Actually, Mr. Levant’s presentation of Council as a band of unthinking anti-Christians was quite accurate. The anti-Christians are on full disply in the video of the meeting. One even compared Christianity the Boko Haramn group in Nigeria. Their prejudice even went as far as denying event organizers the opportunity to defend their rights before council passed its motion. They have given convention organizers another reason to avoid the Nanaimo Convention centre.
Mr. Levant’s presentation of Council as a band of unthinking anti-Christians was grossly unfair
Actually, one of the council members did come off as anti-Christian. Unfortunately, the member’s numerous references to Christianity gives considerable ammunition to any lawyer making the case that council’s decision was an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion.
Watch them all crawl under the rocks where they belong along with other low life . If there is one of the those “councillors” that will stand up and admit their poor judgement I will be very surprised, but I would forgive. Until I see some sort of action or retraction I will never spend another dime as a tourist in the newly labelled Most Discriminatory City in North America. I look forward to Nanaimo’s apology. It is worth millions, literally.
Please note that Councillor Bestwick has manned up and apologized in yesterdays newspaper. I, for one, respect his apology.
I have not seen Bestwick’s “apology” but the video clearly shows that he was one who thought the City should black out portions of event programs he disagreed with. Shocking!
I watched the entire video of the council agenda item in question.
I have watched many council meetings in various cities but this one has to be the most disgusting display of ignorance, bigotry, faulty reasoning and group think that I have ever seen. In addition to the anti-christian bigotry that was on full display I have the following observations and questions:
Why was the event organizer not allowed to address the concerns expressed by city councilors before the motion was passed? Except for Mr. McKay it seems that this council is against due process as well as Christians.
Is the Nanaimo city council now the decider for all speakers and sponsors that may be involved at the publicly owned convention centre? If this is the case why would anyone want to book an event there, only to have the booking revoked at the last minute based on the prejudice of city council members? This decision by city council has given the convention centre’s competition another competitive advatage.
Arguments against the event going ahead were poorly reasoned, even for a group of bigots. There was no evidence presented in the discussion, only innuendo and hearsay about Chick-Fil-A and Dr. Henry Cloud an eminent psychiatrist.
Although I am not among those directly affected by cancellation of the event I can idetnify with them as I am reminded of the famous quote from Martin Niemoller:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”
After watching the Ezra Levant ‘rant’ which is quite in line with his previous erronious presentations ; I can only applaud a Council who I am generally in disagreement with.
“If” Council made an error It was in allowing such a conference in the first place.
Levant is a proven liar & sensationalist.
There are arguements to be made for the continuence of the conference but Levants arguements are shallow & given ground would likely lead to his supporters denying the very rights they now uphold to minority groups.
At the end of the day should Ezras comments prevail his supporters would evoke legislation such as we see in Africa where those with attractions to the same sex would find themselves in jail or marginalised.
There has been a concerted effort ( likely from a calling from the pulpit of the the religious right) on this site & the main stream press attacking Councils decision and calling for retribution & the replacement of councillors at the next election.
Whatever the subject matter I find such a calling short sighted & hateful.
Again; as much as I dislike council I would not call for change over ONE decision .
At the end of the day I am dismayed that we spend so much time discussing & getting our knikers in a knot over subjects that could & should be taken care of in one meeting and an hour of time.
The City of Nanaimo has much more important issues that demand our diligence.
I watched the Ezra Levant coverage, and I can agree with the sensationalist description, but you claim he is a proven liar, and his arguments are shallow, and would insight denial of minority rights, and lead to the marginalization of same sex couples? Did I watch the same video? He proclaimed he was an unapologetic supporter of gay marriage and gay rights! The whole segment was a warning to minority groups that setting a precedent for government censorship among other right restrictions can cut both ways, e.g. what if council stopped a simulcast of a gay pride parade in the convention centre on the basis that a council woman didn’t want her daughter to see half naked males vibrate their genitalia regions on a parade float? I would also love to see the evidence that shows Mr. Levant is a proven liar as you claim, and a coherent argument or evidence as to why his supporters would jail or marginalize those with same sex attractions. I believe your opinion does more to harm same sex equality, and equality in general than what I saw in the Levant segment.
C’mon, fess up. You voted for these bigots didn’t you?
Ezra speaks from both sides of his mouth.
So, does this mean you think that the Suzuki Foundation is somehow agenda-less, that it’s incapable of distortions of fact, and that it doesn’t have its own interests to protect?
Have you ever reviewed its financial statements? I urge you to do so, with particular attention to the list of corporate donors. The Suzuki Foundation accepts money from Encana and Atco Gas, and at the same time, its figurehead, Mr. Suzuki, engages in ad hominem attacks against climate change “deniers”, arguing their opinions are invalid because they receive money from the oil industry.
That’s what I call speaking out of both sides of your mouth.
Suzuki fits right in with the fascists on City Council. It is he who once said that climate change deniers should be put in prison. Eco fascist…….meets gay fascist.
Regardless of your opinion on these other issues, and whether you agree with the Council’s decision or not, I am astounded by your enthusiastic support over the way the motion was passed without any notice, and without affording the organizers any opportunity to be heard. If your rights were being stripped in such a fashion by a governmental entity, I’d bet you’d be screaming bloody murder and running to your nearest news media outlet. I sure would.
I have issues with this decision all around, but my problem over the process Council followed isn’t linked to any particular political, social or economic leaning I may have. It’s about the basic denial of due process and administrative fairness. Set your personal views aside for a moment, and consider whether the Council ought to have at least first notified the organizers before debating the motion.
One would have to be a fascist to support the process used by Nanaimo City Council in passing its censorship directive to convention centre management.
Do not be mislead… The extremes of the far right and the far left stand next to one another. If you can find it, read: The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer.
Councillors know nothing about running a conference centre, building hotels, building office space or selling office space, burning garbage, managing a water system, developing the waterfront, operating a passenger ferry service, or what to do when hucksters show up with “have I got a deal for you”. In respect to these matters Councils generally depend on Staff Reports with recommendations, however in our fair City we have no need for reports, in-depth analysis, an understanding of pros and cons, or an understanding of consequences. We have no need for discussion either thanks to the new Procedures By-law. Why? Why? Why?
Yes in fact what about the hotel? In fact two hotels . . .
Yes, good question. Unban One Builders has had a sign up for months: it even had a drill rig which has been removed.
But first. For months my end of town has been subject to peace shattering jack hammering on a new project across Chapel Street were I live on the tenth floor of the old tower at no 1.
Some weeks ago I wrote council, as I believe it to be unacceptable for incessant jack hammering to go on from dawn until dusk. That was over three months ago.
The rock shattering noise is audible from the Yacht Club to Diane Krall, no doubt, Protection too. I would be surprised if I am the only complainant.
I received a response from the city and now the jack hammering continues from 8.00 am until 4.30 pm. Nevertheless, it is still a horrendous racket for a small city downtown!
The proposed building is advertised at four stories. Comparing it to the tower across Chapel, thus not an impediment to neigbourhood views.
So why dig into impermeable rock. No. 1 did not!
Rock jamming excavation should be, would be unnecessary if the city administration had staff cognizant of building a city rather than business!
Ted Swabey, Nanaimo’s new city manager, has an MBA degree. A business degree for a city employee is inappropriate and inadequate: the city is not a business!
A civic administration is far more complicated than a business.
I have a master’s degree in urban planning from UBC, and indeed, even that would be inadequate for a civic administration: that is why I have always been on the other side of the counter.
The city has inflexible height restrictions as measured from the sidewalk: clearly another result of inadequately trained “planners”. Too bad. A four storey building would not impede anyone’s view if it respected the terrain (FLW’s sage advice was to always build on the brow of the hill not on top!).
Robinson Construction built no 1 Chapel and wisely did not hack into the site. I was there at the time as well as having lived here for fourteen years. No one is the loser . . .
PS I notice, as I walk by, the sold out sign yet I have never seen anyone enter the sales office nor do I see cars lined up outside!
Is this another . . .
. . . scam at the expense of Nanaimo?
And whist we are at it is the Hilton/Stantec sign across front another election scam?
Roger: While I respect the issue which you have raised here, it has nothing to do with the topic under discussion. Perhaps you would like to generalize the issue a bit and I could post it under your name as a separate article. I will leave it for now. Ron
Roger, take a closer look at the Hilton Plans and you will find that the project appears to encroach on waterfront park lands (I assume the reason is to achieve an efficient parking layout) so the question is when and how are city staff planning to explain this encroachment. Do you suppose that without city owned property, dense development of this site is not possible and your view would likely be preserved!
Roger and Joe: If this continues to veer off topic to a discussion of downtown planning, as important as this subject may be, I will be forced to remove this intersection.
IMO this is also important worthy of conversation.
if you would like to start a noise/urban conversation I will be very pleased to re-post . . . R
On 27-Jun-14, at 2:02 PM, Posts and Comments on Nanaimo Governance wrote:
Roger: IMO this is a worthy topic for discussion: but in a separate piece. If you would like to start a noise/Urban conversation, just write it up and send to me and I will post it to start a conversation in that regard. You may wish to dress it up a bit with Title, et.al. for that venue as it will form the basis for subsequent discussion. Ron
Will do Ron. Expect something before lunch tomorrow . . . Cheers R
On 27-Jun-14, at 4:45 PM, Posts and Comments on Nanaimo Governance wrote:
Welcome to this forum.
May I ask,
Was a fatwa issued from the pulpit?
“Conscience and Contracts: Whose Conscience, Whose Contracts?” is the question. In my opinion it is not a difficult one to answer, but city council doesn’t seem well read on what government by the people, for the people is. The public square is to be open to all world views, and when a decision needs to be made, the points of view are expressed, a vote is taken, and the “loser” accepts the decision despite their discontent with the decision, even if that loser is city council. In this case freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion was violated. There is no such right to be free from being offended. There was no need for city council to even get involved in this case, it was a potential precedence setting government overreach. Just ask yourself, what if council did the same thing for a gay pride parade simulcast – I would be giving the same argument. The fact that you are not as outraged suggests that you believe that your world view is the only correct one, and people with a different worldview are evil and deserving of being told to “shut up”, before they even get a chance to offer their ideas as an alternative. The only one offering a fatwa appears to be you, which will only harm the cause of minorities.
The only “fatwa” in this case is in the form of a directive issued by City Council as it goose-stepped to comply with some gay fascists.
Of course you may ask Trailblazer. After all, this is a free country because of those who stood against anyone who tried to take that precious freedom away.
The only official definition of Fascism comes from Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, in which he outlines three principles of a fascist philosophy.
1.”Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.
2.”Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.
3.”Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.
The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and rest of the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife.
Interesting that Ms. E.T. Turner, whom I understand is Vice-President of the Vancouver Island Rainbow Association, and is, apparently, a Nanaimo resident, worked toward preventing the Leadercast 2014 simulcast from being held at the VICC, a publicly-owned facility in Nanaimo on May 9th. I understand that it did take place at the University of Victoria’s David Lam Auditorium on May 9, 2014.
Appears that Turner also attempted to prevent Leadercast 2013 from happening at the VICC, when the Nanaimo Daily News was sponsoring it in 2013.
Let’s face it .
The decision was an ( excuse me Deryk) “almighty” screwup.
I really doubt that there was ever any intention of offending any group of people.
The reaction to to the decision has been overboard.
I doubt that those feigning hurt will settle for anything less than castration,dunking or burning at the stake for this unfortunate happenstance to fade into history where it surely belongs.
Trailblazer has missed the point. The Council decision was wrong on many levels. The Council did not care to inform itself about the implications of cancelling the event. All but one member did not care about the rights of those denied by the cancellation and the bogus reasons for the cancellation. They refused to even let those affected be heard before a decision was made. The subsequent letter to Council from the BCCLA is one I hope all Council members will use to make more informed decisions in future. The BCCLA letter can be seen at http://bccla.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-04-Letter-to-Nanaimo-Council-re-banned-conference.pdf