The fallout from a controversial Facebook share by Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb has now spilled over into the Cariboo Regional District.
Members will likely ask Williams Lake City Council to remove him as its representative on the CRD Board.
CRD Chair Margo Wagner explains…
“We have a special resolution going on right now asking Council to reconsider the appointment of him as the CRD representative for Williams Lake. That’s as much as we can do. It is the Council that decides who is going to be the representative. That resolution is getting voted on right now.”
Wagner says the deadline to vote is tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon at 1.
She says none of the CRD members that she has spoken to agree with the information that was shared.
“None of them. I have talked to Walt. I wanted to give him the heads up of the special resolution that he would get to vote on because he’s still a member of the Board. But none of the other Directors I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to probably 75 percent of them today, they are all horrified by the comments, inappropriate, you know, just not something you do.”
Wagner also disagreed with Cobb’s position that it was his personal Facebook page.
“As an elected official with way less experience than some of my colleagues around the table, I knew very early on that as soon as I became an elected official in a political circle, I lose any aspect of having a personal social media feed.”
The Cariboo Regional District also sent out a statement today (Wednesday) reaffirming its commitment to reconciliation.
It said that the CRD has valued and greatly appreciates cooperative relationships with the First Nations and Indigenous Peoples of the Cariboo and Chilcotin since the Regional District incorporated in 1968.
Wagner says they just felt it was necessary to put out a statement and to voice their disapproval of the comments that Mayor Cobb shared on Facebook, and to reiterate the support that they have for our indigenous neighbours.
FULL CRD STATEMENT:
Cariboo Regional District reaffirms commitment to reconciliation
The Cariboo Regional District has valued and greatly appreciates cooperative relationships with the First Nations and Indigenous People of the Cariboo and Chilcotin since the Regional District was incorporated in 1968. Today, Canadians expect all levels of government to work toward to an effective, respectful relationship with First Nations. In that spirit, the CRD is reaffirming its commitment to the principles and practices of reconciliation. We believe they are critical to the healing journey Canada needs to undertake with regard to injustices inflicted on indigenous people.
There is pain in Canada’s past. We see a history of discrimination, prejudice, and colonialism — enmeshed with stories of courage, achievement, and sacrifice. For those who attended residential schools, suggestions to find the good in that history, or put the past behind them, are more hurtful than helpful. For those who feel non-indigenous people are being blamed for the racism and prejudice of yesterday, a different feeling of discomfort is experienced. There can be a desire to claim the institutions we were taught to trust and revere had good intentions behind their bad decisions. This viewpoint hampers the path to healing. To that end, and in light of recent events, the Cariboo Regional District absolutely disagrees with the views on the impacts of residential schools shared by Mayor Cobb.
The principles of reconciliation are guiding the Chair, Directors, and staff of the CRD in the Regional District’s mandate of ‘building communities together.’ We believe it is the right approach to bring healing and create a framework for a better future. We will continue to work with First Nations, local municipalities, the province, and federal government to realize these important goals.