I suspect many Kelowna residents were deeply disturbed by the recent personal threats against our mayor, Colin Basran.
I commend him for being courageous and confronting the bully.
However, saying to those we chat with that you find this incident troubling is simply no longer enough. We, who rely on our elected officials to lead and guide our community, who are troubled by the precipitous decline in civil discourse, and who are concerned or even frightened about the increasingly abusive and threatening use of online platforms, can no longer be passive bystanders.
If you disagree with decisions made by city council, you have the right to say so, write letters to print or online media and speak out — it is your right to do so, but that is pretty much it.
Basran was absolutely within his legal right, as set out in the Municipal Act, to ask for a bylaw to be brought back to council. Comments in the media about him knowing the developer or receiving campaign contributions from the applicant are simply muckraking and are a blatant attempt to stir up trouble when there is nothing that could substantiate such comments.
We cannot have governance by those who show up and yell the loudest … or those who take to social media to malign or threaten in an attempt to get their own way. That is anarchy and would make our beautiful city unliveable.
None of us agrees with every decision council makes. That is unachievable and simply not how democratically elected governments work. Council’s decisions must reflect the well-being of our whole community — not just your street, my neighbourhood or our view.
The mayor has one vote of nine … he legally had the power to ask for the bylaw to be brought back to council and the majority of council voted in favour.
Being a politician these days is a really tough job, even without the unregulated fallout of online comments. We all have a civic responsibility to step forward, speak our condemnation this kind of behaviour and let our mayor know we support him — and his family — and thank him for having the courage to out the bully.