Nanaimo City Council voted unanimously to rescind a motion that cancelled the Leadercast conference, which was scheduled for May 9 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
Delegations during the special open committee meeting on Thursday stood up for the original motion, and urged council not to reverse the decision. But Council acknowledged the need to back down from the motion, sighting widespread confusion over the intent.
Councillor Fred Pattje brought forward the initial motion, at the request of the Vancouver Island Rainbow Association. He said it’s clear the intent was interpreted in a very different way, and the original purpose of the motion was defeated. Pattje said correction action was required.
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said the May 5 motion was meant to prevent divisiveness and hate, but instead it caused the exact opposite.
Ruttan offered a formal apology. He said he’ll be meeting soon with representatives of all faiths in Nanaimo, to provide an overview of their actions and reiterate that people of all faiths are welcome in the city.
Councillor Bill Bestwick also brought forward a notice of motion on the Leadercast cancellation, which will be introduced at the next council meeting.