‘Time to move on’: Embattled Halifax councillor wants complaints against him resolved
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:39PM AST
Last Updated Friday, February 16, 2018 12:18PM AST
Halifax councillor Matt Whitman says it’s time to deal with the complaints against him and move on.
Whitman has taken a lot of heat since retweeting a statement written by a group called ID Canada, which criticized the decision to remove the Edward Cornwallis statue from a downtown Halifax park.
ID Canada is a self-described "ethno-nationalist" group that was created as a "response to Canada's decaying identity, increased third-world immigration and the prevalence of anti-European sentiments." The group's website says Canada is a nation of “conquerors and colonizers."
Whitman later deleted the post, admitting he wasn't aware some consider the group to be an alt-right organization.
The Halifax-area councillor said in an interview Wednesday with News 95.7 talk show host Rick Howe, he’s getting used to dealing with complaints leveled against him, but the latest wave has been especially difficult.
"It's hung over me long enough. Hung over my family,” Whitman said. “I have teenage kids. I have a mom who's been very upset about this and what this has done to my reputation, and to some extent our family reputation.”
Whitman skipped part of Wednesday’s budget meeting, but has said he wants complaints against him dealt with in open council for everyone to hear.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says that would be unorthodox, but he's not opposed.
“It's not our policy to do it. If (Whitman) wants it done publicly and he wants to petition council to do it publicly, then I'm open to that,” Savage said.
Whitman says that process is necessary so he can clear his name of wrongdoing.
"It's time to move on. It's time to spend time doing what's right for taxpayers. I'm very disappointed in how this has gone," he said.
Whitman will learn more about how his colleagues want to deal with the controversy in the coming weeks.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.