Nearly one year later after having garnered controversy and a protest, the City of Williams Lake will be reviewing its proclamation policy after Council rejected to proclaim Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 as “Celebrate Life Week.”
Councillor Jason Ryll who supported Councillor Laurie Walters’ recommendation on revisiting the City’s policies Tuesday says he thinks it is the right decision.
“We want to make sure that when it comes to what public perceives for Council’s decision that we’re not sending mixed messages to the public,” he says.
“By revisiting the policy, I think what that does is it makes the point clear that we don’t always endorse all of the proclamations that come forward. Our policy right written now as it is is that we support everything and I don’t know if that’s the right message we want to send the public.”
Mayor Walt Cobb who supported the proclamation with Councillor Ivan Bonnell and Sue Zacharias says it presents the City a dilemma.
“Our policy was to just endorse proclamations period- all or none. Now that is open for discussion and the decision will be made and for the way, I understand the rules that it is all or none,” Cobb said.
“So I guess maybe from here on in and it will be a Committee of the Whole meeting, we may not be proclaiming anything.”
Local pro-choice resident and activist, Carrie Julius spoke out on the City proclaiming “Celebrate Life Week” last year and said the proclamation represented an attempt by the Choice of Life Society of Williams Lake to approve an anti-choice view that would deny women their charter rights.
Proclamations, under the Humans Right Code, must be issued in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, marital or family status, physical or mental disability, and sex, or sexual orientation.