EDITORIAL: Opinions, facts and truths at City Hall

We say: Mayor’s edict is not a debate on freedom of expression.

Mayor Maja Tait has had enough.

She says the District of Sooke  will take disciplinary action, “or any other appropriate action as it is required” under law against those looking to defame, or otherwise harass, a councillor or district official.

We just wonder what took so long.

For months, no, make that years, local politicians and municipal staff have been harassed, threatened and libeled by a select few who think they know better.

And while some have jumped on the bandwagon and say the mayor’s edict is a slap against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (read: freedom of speech), it is no such thing.

Every politician on council is willing to listen to debate, consider new facts and opinion – even if it goes against what they believe.

What they shouldn’t have to put up with is libelous statement, lies, harassment, even threats.

And this is occurring on a daily basis on some social media sites, council chambers and at City Hall.

With freedom of expression comes some responsibility. The most obvious is you tell the truth and if you don’t, there are court remedies for that.

The other, and this shouldn’t be understated, is that you treat people with respect, no matter if you disagree with them.

Council must take some responsibly for this downward spiral into opinionated lawlessness too. It has limited public say on issues at council meetings, and has even broken its own policy on hosting town hall meetings twice a year.

A month ago council was forced into hosting a town hall meeting, only because taxpayers are not given enough time to ask questions and pursue answers at council meetings. The mayor apologized for the oversight.

It is still no reason to harass and libel politicians and municipal staff and then hide behind false names and call it freedom of expression.

The lessons here might be getting back to civility and end the venemous attacks.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

Most Read