Coun. Kevin Ferguson chose to speak in public forum on Oct. 8 on the hat issue that arose from the last town council meeting, Sept. 23.
Ferguson spoke about the origins of the institutions in Canada and the three founding nations: Indigenous, English and French. It’s from the English founders that Canada gets the Crown, says Ferguson.
Over time the queen has become a symbol, which is a symbol of a higher ideal to aspire to and in chambers of democracy, the image of the crown reminds all to adhere to decorum, rules and regulations so that debate is elevated above disagreeable behaviour.
“This is not a coffee shop. This is not our kitchen table. This is not a street corner. This is a chamber of our democracy.”
Warren Hart of Ponoka, this time with hat removed, also spoke in public forum on the hat issue.
Town council was delayed for 45 minutes on Sept. 23 as council waited for RCMP to arrive and then to speak with members of council, town administration when Hart refused to remove his hat and council was adjourned.
Hart had a list of printed questions that he provided to the council, but instead of speaking about them, he chose to respond to Coun. Ferguson’s remarks.
“Very well spoken. And also, very one-sided. In that, I take your comments were directed at me, Kevin, for what happened last week at our last meeting. It’s frustrating … I’m supposed to treat this council and this chamber with respect when I get zero respect in return,” he said.
Hart says that since he has started coming to public forum the time he’s been allowed to speak has been cut down and questions allowed to ask have been cut down and questions received have been “often mistruths.”
“The rules have been changed specifically to decrease my asking questions.”
Hart was allowed to speak for about five minutes, which is over the allotted time for public forum.
Mayor Rick Bonnett thanked Hart for his comments and said his questions would be answered at the next council meeting.
Don Danylak asked council about the date for the fall clean up and asked council to trim the trees overhanging the mailbox at 54 St. and says the mailbox had been broken into.
He also mentioned the streetlights were not very bright at that location.
The mayor responded that administration will look into those issues.
“Public forum, we do believe, is at least giving you guys that opportunity to speak back to us so we do appreciate that and we will continue to move forward to that.”