City councillor who wanted to bill military for Remembrance Day events blames conservatives after veterans express outrage
On Thursday, Ben Isitt, the Victoria City Councillor who proposed that the city should recuperate the costs associated with events like Remembrance Day from the military claims that conservatives and the media are responsible for the public backlash against him.
“I’m compelled to provide a brief comment on the toxic political culture that is being encouraged by some corporate media organizations and conservative political organizations in this country,” said Isitt.
“If I had a thinner skin I would potentially be discouraged by the perpetual smear campaign against my character since the past election. But that is not my inclination, so instead I’m going to speak out and call out the forces of reaction.”
Similarly after the original motion passed, Isitt was questioned about his reasoning behind the amendment on a local CBC program and he suggested that World War Two was a “fight against conservative forces”.
The original amendment which was passed in the council claimed that the city should ask Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence to cover the costs of military events.
“Responsibility for military commemoration and honouring veterans is more properly the responsibility of those federal agencies,” said Isitt.
Isitt’s latest comments came after veterans came out in force against the proposition and called for a boycott of the city’s celebrations. Other members including councillors Laurel Collins, Sara Potts, Jeremy Loveday and Marianne Alto also voted in favour of the motion. However, Coun. Alto later expressed that she misunderstood the original scope of the amendment and apologized for her earlier vote.
During Thursday’s council meeting the council was confronted by veteran Keith Rosenberg about the original motion.
Highlights from veteran Keith Rosenberg’s statement before the council, who called for Coun. Isitt to step down and apologize for the motion.— Cosmin Dzsurdzsa (@cosminDZS) June 15, 2019
“It is my hope… that Mr. Isitt will step down from his office.”
[Full statement found here at 1:19:10: https://t.co/i6L1mcuN8H) pic.twitter.com/kbBhcF5gnu
“For those who voted against it, I would like to offer my heartfelt thank you. For those who voted for it, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” Rosenberg told the council.
“Perhaps I should remind you that November 11th is a community event, that in reality, the military are the guests of honour and not the organizers.”
While Isitt did apologize for the timing of the vote during Thursdays council meeting, he remained silent about the content of it.