Peace River Regional District virtual town hall meeting disrupted with racist language

A June 15 virtual town hall meeting hosted by Peace River Regional District (PRRD) was briefly disrupted by a participant who posted racist and profane language on the screen during a staff presentation. PRRD staff immediately stopped the meeting, reset the presentation and readmitted some participants. The meeting continued without incident.

Racist language and behavior is not tolerated by the PRRD in any setting, says Board Chair Brad Sperling. “We reject racist or hateful language or behavior of any sort, and our Board created a specific policy to that effect. We apologize to any of the meeting participants that saw this offensive language or have been affected by this unfortunate incident.”

The incident took place during a virtual town hall meeting to discuss a proposal to expand the Charlie Lake Fire Department’s fire protection service boundaries. PRRD staff are altering their public meeting processes to reduce the possibility of this type of incident happening again.

“Our public meetings are a vital part of the democratic process, where staff share information about PRRD projects and services, and PRRD residents ask questions and share their thoughts. The vast majority of people do this in a constructive and respectful manner, and this incident will not prevent us from continuing to consult and engage with our residents through virtual platforms,” says Sperling.

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