A Victoria city councillor is facing criticism after forwarding an amendment to request funding from the Department of National Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Canada for funding for military events, such as Victoria Day and Remembrance Day.
Coun. Ben Isitt forwarded the amendment to a motion that was discussed at a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, June 6.
The original motion was in regards to granting funding from the contingency to the Victoria Police Department for upcoming events, including Canada Day, Pride, and Symphony Splash.
It prompted Isitt to call into question why Victoria was paying for celebrations enjoyed by the whole region.
The motion to reach out to DND and VAC was passed in a five-to-three vote, but Isitt has been taking most of the backlash, especially in light that the decision was made on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
In response, Isitt penned an angry letter which he posted on medium.com, comparing the discussion and ensuing media coverage to an effort from those with a corporate, alt-right, neofascist agenda. He chose to use a Second World War, anti-Nazi propaganda poster as the image for his post.
In the blog, Isitt said it was unfortunate that the timing came together on D-Day.
“More unfortunate, however, is the nefarious ways in which conservative political forces and their agents in the corporate media have chosen to distort Victoria City Council’s benign request for assistance from federal authorities, into a supposed affront to war veterans,” Isitt wrote.
Here’s what Black Press Media readers have said:
I’m a veteran & have visited Victoria numerous times. I will no longer spend my VAC entitlement dollars as a tourist there anymore until Isitt is out of office & this ludicrous proposal is debunked #CAF #VeteransMatter #RemembertheFallen #VictoriaBC #VoteIsittOut #BoycottVictoria https://t.co/H7q6R1oQQO
— Dan Nickel 🇨🇦 (@DanNickel) June 7, 2019
I think Victoria City Councillor Ben Isitt needs a History Lesson! Or maybe a visit to a local cemetery or Cenotaph to see that the Military has already paid for their Remembrance, for life, with their lives! 🇨🇦 https://t.co/t51Nh3p29O
— Geoff Buxcey (@geoff_buxcey) June 7, 2019
This is outrageous.
— corkmortgages (@corkmortgages) June 7, 2019
Beyond the sheer stupidity of comparing the media to Nazis, the blatant assholism of using a war propaganda ad to distract people from the fact that he is trying to take funding away from veteran events is dumbfounding.
— Pete Goldberg (@goldberg_pete) June 7, 2019
A lot of people are commenting on Victoria councilor Ben Isitt's proposal to have Veterans Affairs pay any bills the city faces for Remembrance Day ceremonies. Isitt claimed Remembrance Day is a "military event." It is actually a solemn day to remember Canadians who died in wars. https://t.co/JppQEFBOyn
— David Pugliese (@davidpugliese) June 7, 2019
Better just stop https://t.co/vTMGpjD25j keep compounding the damage.We owe the Veterans, they don't owe us.They are the reason we have Democracy. We, the tax payers, are celebrating them! The fallen, the PTSD victims, the disabled are not celebrating war.We are celebrating them.
— Vinny Zin (@sajanorth22) June 7, 2019
Coun. Isitt is doing his job: looking for savings in budget. Having said that:
1. Only one taxpayer. Whether DND/VAC or munis pay for ceremonies is ultimately irrelevant.
2. Pennies at stake. Hardly worth Vic council’s time in the first place, never mind all that has followed.
— Michael Brydon (@mjbrydon) June 7, 2019
Ben I'm outraged that the city would consider asking DND to help pay for the Remembrance Day parade. The city can spend millions on tearing up streets for bike lanes but can't figure out how to pay thousands of dollars for Canada Day and Remembrance Day celebrations?
— Amanda Jennifer (@VIHippieChick) June 7, 2019
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