Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nanaimo City Council - Letter From Senator Plett

Dear Mayor Ruttan and Members of the Nanaimo City Council:

I am writing to you to express my disappointment with the profound bigotry and intolerance expressed by many of you during the Committee of the Whole City Council meeting of May 5, 2014, and your ultimate decision to ban a leadership event because one company, who is graciously sponsoring the event, has an owner who has expressed opinions that are different than yours.

I received your prepared statement clarifying your reasons for banning this event; however, I do not believe that further explanation was necessary. Your perspective and reasoning were quite clearly expressed in the meeting.

The owner of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, supports the traditional definition of marriage and donates to organizations that promote traditional family values, as he is permitted to do by law. The leadership conference itself has absolutely nothing to do with these issues or perspective, as was confirmed at the meeting by the City Manager. However, because  one of the sponsor’s views on an unrelated topic do not align with yours, a motion was introduced and passed to not allow Nanaimo residents to view the material at their own publicly-funded facility. The event features world-class speakers and focuses solely on leadership.

The mover of the motion, Councillor Fred Pattje, also expressed concern with one of the speakers, Dr. Henry Cloud, because of his religious beliefs on homosexuality. To deem him “hateful”, “hate-based”, or as “promoting hatred” is ridiculous. Councillor Pattje, I would encourage you to do some background research on Dr. Cloud before making such preposterous claims. Contrary to what you stated, Dr. Cloud is not a psychologist and has never claimed to be. You will find that while he may have a different opinion than you do about the biblical definition of marriage and traditional family values, he has only promoted love for all people. I cannot find a single instance of Dr. Cloud promoting hatred.

With regards to Dr. Cloud, Councillor Bill Bestwick stated, “Personally, I don’t want to hear what this person has to say,” before suggesting that his segment should be blacked out in order to send a message. If Mr. Bestwick would like to rush to judgement about an individual’s credibility to speak on leadership because of a preconceived notion of what he thinks his religious beliefs represent, that is his prerogative. He has the choice to not attend that seminar. But to go a step further and suggest that nobody in Nanaimo should be able to watch this speaker is blatant censorship and an absolute abuse of government authority. I believe the citizens of Nanaimo are intelligent enough to make decisions about what they will or will not listen to and who they will or will not support.

Perhaps most offensive was the comparison of holding Christian views, or “very strong unbelievable Christian beliefs” to the kidnapping of the nearly 300 girls in Nigeria, which ironically were victims of Christian persecution by Islamic extremists. For Councillor Jim Kipp to suggest that this is an archaic viewpoint and “criminal” in this day and age is not only offensive, but absurd.

Gay marriage is currently at the forefront of debates across jurisdictions in North America, and as late as this week, there were extensive debates in several U.S. states surrounding this very issue. President Barack Obama changed his mind about gay marriage only last year.

Many religions hold traditional views on marriage, sex and family. This does not in any way make them hate-based. I must say, I am baffled by the logic that is evident here. You are suggesting your perspective is the absolute truth. Anyone who disagrees with this perspective is “promoting hate”, and therefore is forbidden to have use of publicly funded facilities. On that note, I imagine you are still content with receiving tax dollars for these facilities from Nanaimo residents who identify as Christian.

When you say your council is “progressive and open-minded,” I find the hypocrisy laughable. Your comments clearly demonstrate that you are tolerant of all people, except Christians (and certainly not “strong Christians”).

I spoke about this issue recently in the Senate Chamber when Ontario and Nova Scotia’s Law Societies  pre-emptively rejected future graduates of Trinity Western University’s Law School because the school’s code of conduct does not accept the act of sex outside the traditional definition of marriage. I applaud B.C.’s law society for upholding the rule of law. As I am sure you all know, in 2001, the B.C. College of Teachers was trying to deny accreditation of Trinity Western’s teaching degree because the school insisted upon the same code of conduct from its students. The court ruled in favour of TWU, because: “For better or worse, tolerance of divergent beliefs is a hallmark of a democratic society.”

I could not agree more. However, it has been made apparent again that bigoted, ignorant and discriminatory attitudes toward Christians are accepted and even politically correct today.

Thank you to Councillor Bill McKay for being the voice of reason in this and encouraging a fair platform to discuss this issue. Your voice came through strong and I am sure the citizens of Nanaimo are pleased to have you representing them.

While Councillor Kipp wrongfully believes that holding certain religious views is “almost criminal,” he should understand that discrimination based on religion actually is against the law. 


Senator Don Plett



  1. Edward Sawatzky6 July 2014 at 02:01

    Thank you Senator Plett. You said what needed to be said. With the exception of Counillor Mackay the city council of Nanaimo demonstrated its blatant bigotry. The council further pretended to be using the Charter to justify its actions when in fact they went directly contrary to the charter. Now the council has come out with a hollow apology saying that all people are included. That is not what they said at the meeting. '
    "All" to the council means all people except Christians. I have seen so much prejudice in the name of political correctness but this takes the cake. Thank God for Councillor Mackay. For the rest, God help us if these bigots run our country.

  2. (cont.)
    Just like a “Christian” event was cancelled the Nanaimo pagan pride parade should also be cancelled. We must treat all groups and religions equally. That is democratic. Here are some reasons. Let’s look at some past activities of pagans. Pagans have boiled people in oil. They ate each other. They have sacrificed humans, even cutting out hearts still beating. They have crucified people. In fact pagans invented crucifixion. Nero, a classic pagan, fed Christians to the lions in the coliseum for entertainment. He used Christians as human torches to light up his garden parties. Pagans cannot be trusted. Apparently there is an airline of some pagan country where the first class passengers eat the second class passengers. Pagans kidnapped two hundred and seventy girls, mostly Christian, in Nigeria. Who knows what these pagans might do. Will they march naked in the parade? Pagans have no moral code and as far as we know they have no prohibition against nudity. We, the council, must protect our citizens and not allow them to tarnish our reputation. Do we want to be “affiliated” with them and all the evil they represent? Should we allow them to use our facilities? Does the city of Nanaimo want to be “associated” with these pagans? . Maybe we could blindfold all the spectators when certain unacceptable floats show up or maybe we could cover up certain body parts of the pagans in order to comply with Nanaimo standards.
    The Nanaimo city council s accused the Christians of being “divisive”. It was not made clear what the council meant by that. Pagans have done and still do beheadings. They have drawn and quartered people. In fact these forms of execution were invented by pagans so it is fair to suggest that pagans gave special meaning to the word “divisive”.
    Just imagine the Nanaimo police having to deal with all these pagans converging on the city. There is no way of knowing what atrocities they will commit here. If the past is any indication of the future do we want to take that chance? The pagans could destroy Nanaimo in a single day. Can we afford to take this chance? Would it not be safer to tear up the contract and discourage them from coming back? It is unfortunate that we have to be affiliated with these pagans. Besides, if we allow these pagans to have their parade what else will we allow? Next there might be a heterosexuals or some other scumbags, like Christians all wanting their parade. Do we want that? What will Ezra Levant do with that? He will make us look like the laughing stock of Canada.
    E. Sawatzky


Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.