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Reconciliation task force talks on hold as Oak Bay council works late

Meeting extended once Jan. 24, ended abruptly with councillor’s motion on the table
Oak Bay’s talk of a reconciliation task force waits for another day as council works late Jan. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)

The conversation on joining forces with a community group on reconciliation will have to wait in Oak Bay, as council ran out of time to talk over the issue Jan. 24.

Coun. Esther Paterson asked council to have staff refresh the history page on the district’s website to “reflect the true history of this area and acknowledge the treatment of the people whose lands we occupy”; create a website placeholder for notices of events and resources that support strengthening the relationship with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations; and have the mayor appoint a task force to make recommendations for collaborating on building paths to reconciliation in a manner respectful to First Nations resource capacity.

RELATED: Councillor pitches reconciliation task force for Oak Bay

“It specifically is to the truth and reconciliation call to action that identifies the recognition of the harm caused by the residential school system. I’m not intending we rewrite the whole history of Oak Bay,” Paterson said, clarifying her motion at the Monday night meeting.

She is “looking for active public engagement with members of the community who are already actively working on this, who are familiar with the purposes of reconciliation and who have value to bring in their guidance for this.”

Council started delving into task force talk, with Mayor Kevin Murdoch noting it would need to be referred to staff for a report on details such as terms of reference and impact on staffing.

However, with the meeting already extended once, there was no consensus on a second extension.

Oak Bay requires a motion with unanimous support to extend a meeting beyond 10 p.m. With the meeting already once extended, council did not see that support across the board and the meeting ended mid-topic.

The motion will come back before council.

With special council meetings dedicated to budget discussions Feb. 3, 10 and 17, the next regular council meeting is set for Feb. 14. Find the agenda and ways to participate online at

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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