Once again, I am both saddened and disappointed that I must comment on behalf of Regional Council regarding the conduct of West Lincoln Councillor, Dave Bylsma.
While he may not have meant the statement in this context, the Councillor’s use of language that has been closely tied to racist beliefs, even if taken out of that context, is unacceptable and troubling. I want to be absolutely clear that Niagara Regional Council does not share Councillor Bylsma’s views, nor would the majority of Councillors find the use of language with such a racially-charged legacy to be suitable.
Both the racist overtones found in Councillor Bylsma’s post, as well as the apparent support for rejecting COVID-19 vaccination, are deeply concerning as I do not wish the Region to be associated with either view point.
Individuals who hold public office do so knowing that their comments are subject to open scrutiny regardless of when or where they are made. I would encourage all members of council to carefully consider their office, position and influence when choosing their words.
Along with Premier Ford, I also want residents to know that Regional Council believes in both the efficacy and safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines. We strongly encourage all Niagara residents who have not yet received their shot to book an appointment as soon as possible.