Victoria City Councillor Ben Issit Resigns as Vice-Chair of the CRD First Nations Relations Committe
Victoria City Councillor Ben Isitt has officially resigned as the Vice-Chair of the CRD First Nations Relations Committee.
The news comes after a recent video circulating social media shows Isitt in the Fairy Creek watershed arguing with RCMP and tow truck drivers who were attempting to remove vehicles that were in violation of an injunction.
At one point Isitt produces cash to attempt to get tow truck drivers to leave.
Protesters have been in the area since last summer blocking access to the forest in an attempt to stop logging company Teal Jones from logging old growth forest.
RCMP have been in the area enforcing a court ordered injunction – arresting nearly 400 protesters.
Following the release of the video Chief Counillor Jeff Jones of the Pacheedaht First Nation sent a letter to the Capital Regional District calling Isitt's behavior “exactly the type of disrespectful behavior the PFN has strongly objected to.”
On May 20, the nation asked that the CRD "show an appropriate level of respect to the sovereignty and wishes of our nation" and "respect our desire for self-determination."
“I stand by my actions against in trying to prevent the wrongful conversion of the property of my constituents.” Ben Isitt told CFAX 1070 in a phone interview.
The Victoria City Counillor says he values his relationship with indigenous leaders in the region.
“To re-build my relationship with chief jones and to signal my strong interest in working with Pacheedaht long term I feel it’s best for me not to serve as Vice Chair of that committee at this time.” Said Isitt.
Isitt was not on official business at the time the video was recorded.