Councillor Collins tries to diffuse support of controversial motion


Laurel Collins, Victoria City Councillor and NDP candidate for Victoria, made the following statement:

"I have tremendous respect for the members of the Canadian Forces and the veterans who put their lives on the line for our country, including my grandparents - my grandpa Clinton who served as a captain in the Army and my grandma Marion who served in the Air Force.

That’s why I support a collaborative approach across various levels of government to make Remembrance Day the best possible celebration to honour our veterans and those currently serving.

I voted in favour of allocating over $130,000 to policing for events, including Remembrance Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day, and other events across the city. I also voted in favour of an amendment to explore the potential for sharing some of the costs related to military events, including Remembrance Day.

I understand it was wrong to hold this vote on D-Day, and I take full responsibility for that. I’m truly sorry for the impact. It pains me to think about veterans being disrespected in any way.

Seeing that it was D-Day, I should have called to delay this discussion and vote to some other day, and I regret not doing so.

Remembrance Day is not just a military event, it is a community event that includes everyone. It helps us all honour the sacrifice of men and women who protected our rights. Their sacrifice allows me to not only stand here today but also be elected to a body like Victoria City Council.

As such, any motion discussing cost sharing with other levels of government should have been amended to refer to the federal government, not simply to DND and Veteran Affairs. I will be voting against this motion when it comes to Council next week.

And, I want to be clear, I'm wholeheartedly committed to honouring the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedoms. I will never stand by and allow Remembrance Day to be defunded. I will always honour members of the Canadian Forces like my grandparents, who fought against fascism to ensure we have the democracy we have today."


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