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City Council tells VICC not to play host to Leadercast

City Councillors in Nanaimo are saying the Vancouver Island Conference Centre shouldn’t be the venue for Leadercast, because of a controversial sponsor.

Leadercast is a world-wide simulcast originating from Atlanta on May 9th featuring speakers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author Malcolm Gladwell, and former US first lady Laura Bush.

The Nanaimo Daily News is organizing the local showing.  It’s also being shown in Vancouver and Victoria.

But the VICC is owned by the City, and it was told to reject the event in an unexpected vote at a committee meeting Monday.

Councillor Fred Pattje, who called for the vote, says it’s not an issue with the local organizers, but one of the main sponsors.

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The motion passed by Council says the VICC shouldn’t be involved in “events that are associated with organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness or homophobia or other expressions of hate…”

Councillor Bill McKay was the only one who didn’t back the move. He says the Nanaimo Daily News should have been given a chance to speak before Council weighed in.

The newspaper ended up cancelling plans to host Leadercast last year because of similar objections.

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