Brandon pauses public engagement on 30-year vision over 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour'
The City of Brandon has paused public engagement on its 30-year plan for the city due to what it calls 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour' from some residents.
The issues came after two public engagement events the city held to discuss the Brandon City Plan which outlines a 30-year vision for the city.
"A small group of citizens used these events to discuss theories not related to the Brandon City Plan project and city staff were treated disrespectfully," a statement from the city reads.
"Democracy and freedom of speech is important to the City of Brandon. However, due to such inappropriate and unsafe behaviour, all Brandon City Plan public engagement has been paused."
Ron Bowles, Brandon's city manager, told CTV News the group of residents that came to the meeting was 'loud and boisterous' and made the staff members feel emotionally unsafe.
"It was an unfair situation for our staff, there was only two staff members in attendance at the meeting and the group was a little bit aggressive," he said.
Resident Rick Macl said he went to the meeting on Friday to bring forward his concerns about the city plan.
"I really don't understand where they're getting that from, like, I honestly don't," he said. "Obviously, it was disorganized, and when you have a whole bunch of people talking at the same time, it gets frustrating."
He posted a video of the meeting on his Facebook page, which shows at times a group of residents all asking questions over each other—many surrounding the idea of '15-minute cities'.
The city planning term suggests everything a resident needs should be within a 15-minute walk or cycle from their home, but the idea has been caught up in conspiracies theories.
Grant Hamilton, founder of a cycling advocacy group Bike Brandon, said they also had to postpone their public engagement sessions about the city plan, which looks to support more cycling and safer access to bike lanes.
He said it is an issue that has been caught up in conspiracy theories in Brandon.
"The people who are passionate about these conspiracy theories tend to also be disruptive, and they had started coming to some of the larger city open houses to talk about the city plan and were disrupting those," he said.
"In discussions, we didn't feel like we could provide a safe inclusive event for people at Bike Brandon. So we unfortunately had to make the call that we were going to cancel our event."
Macl said he feels the city is blowing the situation out of proportion. He said he, along with some other residents at the meeting, felt the city staff were unprepared to answer questions about the plan.
Hamilton, however, said he believes the majority of people in Brandon support the plan.
"I think you'll always have to be prepared for maybe a little bit of controversy, or maybe some people who don't 100 per cent agree with you," he said. "As long as you're respectful about that, there's no problem."
Bowles said the city paused its public engagement to evaluate how best to have conversations with the community.
"We wanted to make sure that going forward, that we have good conversations for our community and have conversations in a safe space for our staff as well," he said, adding there were legitimate questions brought up in the meeting.
Macl said he feels there may be some good that comes out of this.
"I think this is going to open up the conversation, I think this is going to get the city, you know, prepared to basically talk further and in detail of what this is actually is and what it's involving," he said.
The city said it will provide updates on the next steps in the city plan in the future.
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Freeland's budget bill passes House after Poilievre pledges to block it
The federal budget implementation bill passed the House of Commons on Thursday, after days of Conservative attempts to block it.
'Tremendous amount we could be doing': Expert shares tips for preventing, adapting to wildfires
As wildfires rage across Canada in what’s being called an unprecedented season, one expert says there’s more that individuals and communities can do to adapt and prevent forest fires from causing widespread devastation.
Supreme Court of Canada won't hear unvaccinated woman's case for organ donation
The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of an Alberta woman who was unwilling to be vaccinated in order to get a life-saving organ transplant.
Are more interest rate hikes on the way? Here's what experts say
In the wake of the Bank of Canada’s unexpected rate hike, economists are pointing to further tightening in the near term.
10-year-old girl survives more than 24 hours alone in the rugged Cascade mountains after getting lost while out with her family
Rescuers in Washington state are praising the resourcefulness of a 10-year-old girl who survived on her own for more than 24 hours in the rugged terrain of the Cascade mountains after getting lost while out with her family.
Wildfire battles continue as heat, air quality alerts affect most of Canada
Air pollution from wildfires remained well above healthy levels across much of southern and northern Ontario and several communities in British Columbia and Alberta on Thursday.
4 very young children critically wounded in knife attack in French Alpine town
As bystanders screamed for help, a man with a knife stabbed four young children at a lakeside park in the French Alps on Thursday, assaulting at least one in a stroller repeatedly. The children between 22 months and 3 years old suffered life-threatening injuries, and two adults also were wounded, authorities said.
Liberals unveil plan to make hybrid House of Commons sittings permanent
Government House Leader Mark Holland has unveiled the federal Liberals' plans to make hybrid sittings a permanent feature in the House of Commons.
Premier remains mum on funding to search Manitoba landfill for remains of 2 women
The decision to search a Winnipeg-area landfill for the remains of two First Nations women and who will fund it remains up in the air a month after a feasibility study was completed.
Regina mayor says homeless camp was reaching 'critical point' before teardown
Regina's mayor says the city's fire department had growing concerns about the health, safety and well-being of those living in a homeless camp that was dismantled on Wednesday morning.
'Bury the hatchet': No reprimand for Regina city councillor who violated confidentiality bylaw
Regina city councillors decided on Wednesday to not impose sanctions or corrective measures on Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens for a violation of the city’s confidentiality bylaw.
Here's what Regina's mayor says could be done to fix the underpass flooding issue
Flooded underpasses have been a common occurrence in Regina this spring with several thunderstorms dumping heavy rain on the city, but Mayor Sandra Masters says several solutions are in the works to help prevent further flooding.
'Men like to strike women': Judge slams culture of domestic violence in Sask. during murder sentencing
A man who killed his ex-wife’s cousin will spend life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years, a judge decided on Thursday at Saskatoon’s Court of King’s Bench.
Veteran Saskatoon city councillor Glen Penner dead at 82
Long-time city councillor and former Saskatchewan Liberal MLA Glen Penner died on Monday, according to a Saskatoon obituary.
Saskatoon property taxes could see 13 per cent hike as city confronts $75M revenue gap
Significant property tax hikes may be needed to cover a funding shortfall, according to City of Saskatoon administration.
Wildfire evacuation order west of Sudbury, Ont., expands, highway closed
A wildfire west of Sudbury, Ont., has quadrupled in size prompting evacuation orders to be expanded and one highway to close.
Another northern Ont. resident charged for illegal backyard fire, 5th in one week
A fifth person in northern Ontario has been charged in less than a week for having a campfire during the fire ban.
Here's what you need to do before you leave your house in a forest fire-prompted evacuation
Thousands of Canadians have had to leave their homes in several provinces over the last few weeks due to forest fires. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your property, both prior to an evacuation and during.
Part of Yellowhead County evacuated because of wildfire
An evacuation order was issued for an area near the McLeod River in Yellowhead County on Thursday at noon.
More sexual assault charges laid against John and Leigh Ann de Ruiter
A self-proclaimed spiritual leader and his wife are facing more sexual assault charges, Edmonton police announced Thursday.
Alberta premier plays down prospect of advisory council of defeated candidates
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is playing down an earlier pledge to create a council of defeated Edmonton candidates to advise her.
Video captures bus plowing into stopped traffic in deadly Mississauga, Ont. crash
Video has surfaced showing a Mississauga, Ont. transit bus plowing into stopped traffic in a crash that left one person dead and at least eight injured on Thursday morning.
LIVE | Smoke in Toronto to get worse Thursday with air quality set to plummet
Toronto's air quality will get worse before it gets better as smoke from Canada's wildfires lingers in the city.
European family turfed from long-term Airbnb in Toronto to test renters’ rights
A European family who says they were evicted from their long-term Airbnb rental in Toronto last week has sparked a precedent-setting fight.
Worker buried in trench collapse during sewer repairs in Charleswood
One person was injured after a trench collapsed in the community of Charleswood on Thursday.
Southern Alberta town issues alert after cougar sighting
The Town of Magrath issued an alert for dangerous animal after a cougar was spotted on the Magrath nature trail early Thursday morning.
CJAY92 donates $20K to Calgary family whose van was stolen, hurting 5-year-old's T-shirt business
After a string of devastating setbacks, a Calgary family has just had a significant change of luck.
Quebec wildfires: fierce fight in Normetal as flames within 500 metres of municipality
Quebec's public security minister preached patience on Thursday as fires continued to rage in the province's north, saying it remained unclear when more than 12,000 people displaced by the encroaching flames would be able to return home.
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre opens up about life after stroke, depression
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, who spent his life in politics, collapsed and suffered a stroke on April 11, and even as he's slowly recovering, the fighter's instinct, that he's known for, is very much alive.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Air quality improves over Ottawa, but smoky skies could return on Friday
People in the Ottawa-Gatineau area are breathing fresher air, as smoke and haze from wildfires in northern Ontario and Quebec moves out of the area.
Bear spotted in Kanata neighbourhood 'safely placed in a cage', police say
Police received a call about a bear sighting in the 500 block of Woodchase Street, near Breckenridge Crescent, at approximately 9 a.m.
New all-electric boat sets sail on the Ottawa River
Ottawa Boat Cruise unveiled its second all-electric boat on Thursday, and announced plans to green its full fleet over the next three years.
Higgs government faces caucus revolt over changes to LGBTQ school policy in N.B.
New Brunswick students under the age of 16 who identify as trans and non-binary won't be able to officially change their names or pronouns in school without parental consent.
Halifax says more residents can return home Friday after wildfires
The Halifax Regional Municipality says it will announce Thursday when more residents can return to their homes in communities impacted by the Tantallon wildfires.
N.B. shellfish company shuttered over improper storage of shell waste: environment minister
A company at the centre of a community fight over what residents in the town of Beaurivage, N.B. say is a powerful stench has been ordered to cease operations.
Cyclist taken to hospital after crash in Kitchener
A cyclist has been taken to an out-of-region hospital with what police call “potentially serious injuries” after a crash involving a vehicle in Kitchener.
Fire at Waterloo house displaces 7 people
Firefighters were called to the house on Laurel Street around noon Thursday.
No working smoke alarms in fatal Waterloo house fire
Fire officials have confirmed there were no working smoke alarms at a fatal house fire in Waterloo earlier this week.
WATCH LIVE | B.C. officials to provide update on wildfire situation, air quality
Smoke has eased in much of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, but air quality advisories remain in place.
Brazilian curling champion pleads guilty to B.C. sex crimes involving underage victims
A youth curling coach who was a three-time Brazilian champion in the sport has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual interference, according to authorities in B.C.
Port Moody police seek missing couple last seen 2 weeks ago
Police in Port Moody are asking the public for help locating a young couple that hasn't been seen in two weeks.
WATCH LIVE | Vancouver Island wildfire rages on with no timeline to reopen crucial highway
British Columbia wildfire officials say firefighters are making some progress battling an out-of-control wildfire that has closed Highway 4, the only highway connecting western Vancouver Island with the rest of the province.
New Vancouver-Nanaimo ferry service announces pricing, launch timing
The new passenger-only ferry service between Vancouver and Nanaimo, Hullo, has announced that it will begin operations this summer.
Saanich police seek people connected to 'serious threats' investigation
Saanich Police are asking for the public's help in solving a serious threats investigation.