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Halifax misses council meeting
Northern News Services
Published Monday, November 10, 2008
The derogatory comments, which were posted on a radio website, came to light shortly after the Oct. 14 election.
Coun. Clarence Wood said last week a couple of Inuvik residents were ready confront Coun. Terry Halifax at an Oct. 22 council meeting - attributing the online commentary to him - but he was not present.
Reacting to the public outcry, town council called another meeting Tuesday to deal with the matter internally, but again Halifax did not show up.
A person using the screen name True North S wrote a satirical account of the Oct. 9 all-candidates forum held at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. The post, on CBC North's discussion board, contained a description of an aboriginal candidate that some Inuvik residents considered racist.
First People's National Party of Canada candidate Noeline Villebrun was described as starting off the night by "burning sweetgrass" and "invoking the spirit of the great white buffalo." It also stated that she chanted "treaty, treaty, treaty, I have a treaty."
In an email to Inuvik Drum, Villebrun was dismissive of the comments.
"People who use other names other than their own have no balls and therefore hide and write these types of comments," she wrote. "Oh well, sticks and stones. I guess the author doesn't understand the fact we have a treaty and it is not fulfilled ..."
The online post was most critical of incumbent MP Denis Bevington. It described him as a "numbskull" and portrayed him as smoking wood pellets from a bong.
Bevington said he had no comment on the post.
The only candidate not attacked in the Internet commentary was Brendan Bell. He was portrayed as being "bathed in brilliant white light." The post stated that he answered questions from the audience "deftly and precisely - all while levitating about two feet off his chair."
Halifax, who was a campaign volunteer for Bell, had no comment on Tuesday's meeting nor the online post, but said this to Inuvik Drum: "This is a new low for journalism in the North. How does that grab you? Do you ever think about the lives you affect by doing these things and the greater good served by doing it? When you go out to assassinate someone's character do you ever think about the repercussions of that? What do you think is the greater good served here?"
Coun. Wood said he would like the councillor in question given an opportunity to explain his side of the story.
"That's all I'm asking for; I may agree or disagree," said Wood.
Lindsay said there is little town council would be able to do in regards to this matter.
"Council is limited by the City Towns and Villages Act and its own bylaws and there is really nothing we can do at this stage of the game," he said.
He said Municipal and Community Affairs would be the only body with authority to deal with this matter.