Man forcibly removed from council chambers can still attend meetings

Over past 20 years, there have been three people banned from Township meetings, says mayor.

  • May. 24, 2016 8:00 a.m.

A man who was handcuffed and forcibly removed from Township council chambers by RCMP on May 9 is still allowed to attend future meetings.

Despite being escorted out by police four times over the last two years — including being physically dragged from chambers at least twice — it is not enough to have him banned, Mayor Jack Froese told the Times.

“We are certainly looking at our options. This isn’t the first time in the history of the Township of Langley that there has been someone disruptive in council chambers or with mayor and council,” Froese said.

Over the past 20 years, three people have been banned from attending meetings in Township — one by court order and two by council directive.

Although the man in question has not made any threats as defined in the criminal code, Froese has been told by audience members that his behaviour makes them uncomfortable.

“It’s unsettling for a lot of people,” Froese said.

“I have no problem with people giving a speech (or) with people standing up at the appropriate time to give council input, but it has to be done in a respectful manner.

“He hasn’t made an overt threat to anyone. His demeanour may appear to be threatening to some people, but I haven’t seen him make a threat to anybody.

“I think people are threatened by him, whether he would carry anything out, I don’t know, I couldn’t answer that.”

The man, who sometimes shows up to council with a large white protest sign and printed-out speeches, has been asked to leave during three public hearings, and again on May 9, at he beginning of the regular evening meeting.

“We have been very patient with him, allowing him to speak at public hearings,” Froese said.

“And then you get to the point where I have to remind him what the topic is … and that’s where it tends to get irate. At that point I ask him to sit down, and if he doesn’t do that then I ask him to leave, and if he doesn’t do that then I order him to leave.

“This is a pattern that seems to be getting worse.”

Froese has the authority to ask RCMP to remove anyone who disrupts the meetings, under Section 133 of the Community Charter.

Should the Township want to ban the man from attending, they would have to go to civil court and get an injunction.

“A judge would have to look at it and there would have to be a pattern, and there would have to be something significant there — a one-time (incident) wouldn’t be enough to provide that,” Froese said.

“But if we can provide information and the judge can say, ‘OK, there is a pattern here’ … they’ll provide that injunction or that ban. So certainly we are looking into that, but we have to do that through the legal channels.”

The man has also attended council meetings in the City of Langley, but has never caused a disturbance or been escorted out by police, CAO Francis Cheung said.

In the 10 years he has been CAO of the City, Cheung says they have never had to forcefully remove or prohibit anyone from attending council meetings.

Just Posted

Milner actor taps into inner jokester for Langley Players comedy

The curtain goes up on The Foreigners next Thursday at the Langley Playhouse.

ON GARDENING IN LANGLEY: Ice storm caused damage to many trees

Advance columnist Pam Erikson suggestions tips for minimize winter damage and prepping for spring.

VIDEO: Double-decker bus pilot in Langley gets rave reviews

The ceiling is a little low, but other than that, everyone seems to be a fan

Township of Langley ranked No 1 ‘least tempting’ for millennials to live

Out of 85 cities, Township ranked lowest because of crime, affordability, says Point2homes.com

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read