(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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

West Kootenay region experiences drier-than-normal July: Report

The region only received around 57% of its normal precipitation during the month

No new COVID cases in Kootenay-Boundary

As of July 30, there were no additional cases in the previous two weeks

LETTER: Clean Energy Bill misleads

From reader Susan Eyre

New kids program at Nelson Community Food Centre

Kids up to the age of 13 can learn cooking skills

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Most Read