Essex Councillor Calling for Emergency Meeting


An Essex councillor wants Mayor Larry Snively to call a special emergency council meeting for this week.

Sherry Bondy says she wants a meeting called to discuss recent anti-Asian racist remarks made on social media last week by ward 3 councillor Chris Vander Doelen.

Bondy says she has received more than 100 emails plus a number of phone calls from residents asking the town to make a united public statement against racist comments.

"We have been swamped with emails, messages, phone calls from the public asking us to make a united public statement against racist comments, asking us to have some action and I'm not sure what that action is right now," says Bondy.      

She says council members have also heard from the Essex County Chinese Canadian Association.

"We can't let this fester," she says.  "We have to show unity right now and have a discussion.  We can't pretend that comments weren't made and we can't be oblivious to everything going on around us."   

Bondy says she has not spoken to councillor Vander Doelen and adds at this point, she's not sure if she really wants to. 

"He doesn't speak to me, his comments don't speak for me," says Bondy.  "I'm insulted, I'm offended as well.  I spent my whole weekend dealing with the ramifications of his remarks and it's not just one tweet, it's multiple tweets now."    

Bondy says she also emailed the town's clerk and CAO asking for a special meeting.

She says if a meeting does not take place this week, she will be issuing an emergency notice of motion at next Monday's town council meeting. 

Meanwhile, callers to AM800's The Dan MacDonald Show had mixed views on the matter with one person saying "I think that everybody is blowing this out of proportion. The guy got COVID and he's pissed off and rightly so.  He's mad but is he mad at a certain group of people in this world, I highly doubt that."  

Another caller said "Does he not realize how many people of Asian decent have been attacked? His words have consequences." 

While he didn't offer a direct apology, Vander Doelen told AM800's The Morning Drive Monday that "I should have thought ahead and considered how my words would have been taken."