Councillor asks for resignation of another

Coun. Dave Hensman (left) and Coun. Jeff Jewell. - Record file photos
Coun. Dave Hensman (left) and Coun. Jeff Jewell.
— image credit: Record file photos

One councillor is asking for the resignation of another after a heated argument took place at Monday night's open council meeting.

The exchange occurred between Couns. Jeff Jewell and Dave Hensman after Jewell criticized his colleague for pounding his fist on the table to make a point.

"We know you're a good preacher, but you're preaching to a very phoney message on this one," said Jewell, who was quickly interrupted.

"You're out of order," said Hensman.

A brief shouting match ensued before the mayor pounded his gavel to restore order.

Jewell apologized before proceeding with further remarks, but that didn't satisfy Hensman, who went on record at the end of the night, saying, "I consider Coun. Jewell's comments to be a clear, prejudiced attack on my religious worship and freedom."

Hensman says the work he does with his ministry is separate from his work as a councillor.

In a letter to The Record Wednesday, Hensman writes, "Coun. Jewell trampled the Human Rights code of British Columbia when he publicly harassed and demeaned me, disparagingly mocking my religious work-related duties."

"This level of bullying is not acceptable in the community," said Hensman. "As leaders in our community, we cannot stand for this."

Jewell was "shocked" to hear Hensman was calling for his resignation when contacted by The Record Wednesday.

"To me, it's poor behaviour on his part," said Jewell. "I sincerely apologized and that should be enough."

Jewell acknowledged he used poor judgment "in the heat of the moment," but added he was provoked when Hensman interrupted him.

"Clearly we have a job to repair our public image and explain ourselves," said Jewell.

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