(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

FVRD flooding evacuation alerts in effect

Unprotected areas affected include parts of Morris Valley Road and Lougheed Highway

Extra care required from Chilliwack drivers as students return to school

RCMP are enforcing speed limits in school zones and urging motorists to be extra cautious

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Cyclist in his 50s victim of fatal crash near Hope Thursday

Police have ruled out speed, impairment as factors after a tractor-trailer struck a man in his 50s

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read