Opinion

EDITORIAL: Show respect for all

Mission council struggled Monday for the second time in as many months to control an audience that had mostly turned out to hear discussions about the controversial bylaw governing the Public Safety Inspection Team.
The item was last on the agenda, but council moved it to the top, recognizing those in the packed chamber were there for that issue. But instead of listening and respecting discussion among elected officials, some people felt it was their right to disrupt formal proceedings.
Council was forced to call three recesses after name-calling and racist remarks were made.
This isn’t acceptable behaviour on a child’s playground, so why are adults bringing such disgrace into council chambers, the one room in the district that demands respect for everyone, even from those who disagree?
Only a few people were an embarrassment, but one is too many; even those on the same side asked council not to pass judgement on everyone opposed to the bylaw based on the actions of a few individuals.
Kudos to those with calmer heads who explained to others there are processes to follow even if you disagree, otherwise nothing will get accomplished. The meeting rules are universal and not something the district makes up every time.
Everyone sitting in council chambers deserves respect and council should not hesitate to remove someone, because when one outburst is allowed, more follow.
Police were eventually called, but it was too late as the offending parties had left and the business was over.
Let’s hope the scene isn’t repeated for a third time on March 7 when the issue returns to the table.
We all deserve better.

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