Abbotsford City Hall File photo

Bad behaviour to lead to expulsion at Abbotsford council

New rules lay out how a member can be booted from a meeting

New rules have been crafted laying out how a bullying – and at this point, hypothetical – Abbotsford councillor can be booted from a meeting.

Council gave the thumbs up Monday to a new bylaw that formalizes the process for tossing a councillor acting inappropriately in a meeting. The bylaw also includes new rules regulating how frequently delegations can appear, and how the city will remove a person who has been told to leave but won’t.

Council meetings – particularly since the 2015 election – have been mostly staid affairs, with disagreement rare and clashes between members almost non-existent. But that lack of strife, Mayor Henry Braun said, makes this the perfect time to craft and implement the new rules.

“A lot of these issues we might not have experienced in Abbotsford, but you do see them in other municipalities,” Braun said.

Coun. Sandy Blue highlighted the rules governing decorum among councillors.

“You might not think about it when a council is working effectively, but you certainly notice it when it’s not.”

The rules say council members must not bully or harass other councillors, government officials or staff members. The bylaw defines such activity as including, but not being limited to: expressing negative opinions about the personality or character of someone; speaking disrespectfully, speaking or acting aggressively toward another person; using offensive gestures or signs; being rude; questioning the motives of others; or speaking on cellphones when another person is speaking, except in emergencies.

If a meeting chair finds someone breached the rules, the person can either be ordered to leave immediately, or permitted to apologize. An inadequate apology can result in the person still being removed from the meeting.

If someone who has been ordered to leave, doesn’t of their free will, the bylaw says council can call in a peace officer.

On delegations, the new bylaw says individuals or organizations can only address council once a year on a specific topic, or once every three months on different topics. The mayor can also refuse delegations that wish to speak about matter already being addressed at a public hearing, or if the matter relates to labour relations and employees, litigation, is outside the city’s authority, or is about information that can’t be released or is related to a freedom of information request. The mayor can also determine a matter to be frivolous.

A delegation can also be refused if the matter relates to compliance with city bylaws, is the subject of a future staff report, is an election matter, or relates to a tendered contract or an ongoing request for proposals.

Just Posted

Langley East MLA could testify in logging lawsuit

Rich Coleman has been put on the witness list for a lawsuit against TimberWest.

WATCH: Kwantlen artist paints and installs Indigenous mural in Fort Langley

First Nations painter Brandon Gabriel created a piece of art for Cranberries Naturally.

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

New Langley resident takes to the stage in upcoming musical

Leah Newson is performing in Annie: The Musical in Burnaby starting Feb. 1.

Day 3 brings fourth win for the Langley-based Team BC

Tyler Tardi and squad plays two games Tuesday at the junior curling nationals in Saskatchewan.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Aldergrove soccer tournament set for March 30-31

2019 edition of the Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament taking registrations

Most Read