As a woman and a community activist I was livid with the interruptions Lynn Husted and others received at the Saanich council meeting on November 6, 2017. In my opinion, these interruptions were not a matter of keeping the meeting in order, but a way of suppressing key information and limiting democratic participation. The meeting slipped in and out of selective order depending on who was speaking and what side was being represented.
It is shameful that an exemplary Saanich resident such as Lynn Husted (a retired PhD ecologist) was treated in such an ungracious manner. Ms. Husted was interrogated and then prevented from sharing important information of a public interest. When the Chair failed to rule a stop to the jeers and boos, I could see a loss of enthusiasm and trust among others who shared her viewpoint.
Another Saanich resident, David Chambers (my husband), spoke about the land contained within the EDPA and to the stolen lands of the Coast Salish, W̱SÁNEĆ, Songhees, Lekwungen and Esquimalt people.
My husband was booed, and again, the chair failed to call the meeting to order, which was disappointing not only because 2017 is the Year of Reconciliation, but also because Saanich only recently began to move forward with the Reconciliation process, and has yet to strike a Truth and Reconciliation committee.
Courtesy and respect in discussions involving the public interest are paramount to achieving shared objectives. Democracy and free speech is all about the right to participate at council meetings without fear of intimidation. Citizens deserve and should expect better from those elected to lead.