Sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing for coun­cil

Com­plaints not ‘swept un­der the rug:’ Mayor

Metro Canada (Halifax) - - FRONT PAGE - Zane Wood­ford

Hal­i­fax re­gional coun­cil will take group sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing af­ter com­plaints were filed against coun­cil­lors un­der the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s code of con­duct.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity told Metro on Tues­day it had a to­tal of 13 com­plaints against coun­cil­lors un­der Ad­min­is­tra­tive Or­der 52. At least three of those com­plaints were against Coun. Matt Whit­man, and a source told Metro an­other three of those com­plaints were against a sec­ond coun­cil­lor.

Whit­man and Coun. Shawn Cleary had a heated de­bate on Twit­ter last month over whether the word “mar­i­juana” is racist. Cleary used the F-word dur­ing that de­bate, and dur­ing a TV in­ter­view about the spat, Whit­man used the word “ne­gro.”

Whit­man apol­o­gized at the be­gin­ning of the last coun­cil meet­ing. Cleary would not con­firm Tues­day night whether any com­plaints were filed against him.

Af­ter hours of in-cam­era (closed) dis­cus­sion in coun­cil chambers end­ing late Tues­day night, coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to take “group sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing as ar­ranged by the CAO and the mayor.”

Mayor Mike Sav­age told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing that the com­plaints against the coun­cil­lors were dealt with. “This wasn’t swept un­der the rug. This wasn’t pushed aside,” he said.

Even though that dis­cus­sion was held be­hind closed doors and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity wouldn’t say which coun­cil­lors were the sub­ject of com­plaints, Sav­age said it was no se­cret.

“This hasn’t been a pri­vate process,” he said. “Peo­ple have ex­pressed their con­cerns pub­licly in a num­ber of ways, so I don’t think there’s any se­cret about who the com­plaints were against.”

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