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Ladysmith mayor booed at council meeting by maritime society supporters

Council announced the abandonment of the marina lease as part of a rise-and-report
Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone is met with boos and heckles from Ladysmith Maritime Society supporters before cutting question period short at a council meeting on Tuesday, Nov 7. (Town of Ladysmith image)

Ladysmith’s mayor was booed at a council meeting last night by supporters of the Ladysmith Maritime Society during discussion of the Ladysmith Community Marina.

At the meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, LMS supporters crowded the Ladysmith Seniors Centre after council reported on items from a closed meeting authorizing the town to abandon the marina lease effective Dec. 31.

The society’s executive director Richard Wiefelspuett opened the question period asking council why the decision, which was made on July 4, was made in a closed meeting, to which Mayor Aaron Stone replied that the charter allows certain matters, including disposition of land, to be discussed and decided in camera.

READ MORE: Ladysmith Maritime Society starts crowd-funding for legal fees

John Craig, a member of the society, took the podium second to ask a question and he started with comments but he was repeatedly told by Stone to be brief and to the point with his question.

“By what logic did mayor and council find a way to completely disregard LMS and the citizens of Ladysmith, poke them in the eye, and allow the confiscation of the community marina with no protection for the future of LMS to manage the marina?” Craig asked.

READ MORE: Ladysmith marina operator being evicted from the harbour

Stone said he disagreed with the characterization, and said there was work done behind the scenes with the society before he was interrupted by Craig and others in the gallery claiming a lack of communication.

“There was a protracted discussion, and to be frank, I thought this would be a community celebration and all would move forward together in a good way,” said Stone, before being met with boos and heckles from the crowd, some calling for him to resign.

Council immediately adjourned the meeting, cutting the question period short, with Stone advising there are provisions within the community charter to end question period when “people start insulting people.”

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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