Dufferin News Municipal Politics

Dufferin County Councillor Brings Religion Into Politics

Dufferin County Councillor Brings Religion Into Politics - "I think what we should do is recognize the creator of the whole universe in the first place" - Dufferin County Council - November 12, 2020

“Thank you Lord for creating the heavens, and the earth, and all that is on the earth,” are the words that one Dufferin County Councillor wants spoken at future meetings, similar to the recently drafted land acknowledgement honouring Indigenous peoples.

More than one of his fellow members of council was smirking while Mayor Bob Currie of Amaranth recited words included in the notice of motion that he presented at the November 12, 2020 Dufferin County Council Meeting.

Currie expressed that after council ‘started recognizing indigenous people in our area because they were the first settlers here, call it what you want’, he is of the belief that council should ‘recognize the creator of the whole universe in the first place’.

This is not the first time Bob Currie has inserted his religious views into politics and policy. Earlier this year, the Mayor of Amaranth made national news after providing his reasoning for not wanting the pride flag flown at the township office when the matter came up during an Amaranth council meeting. The remarks were considered hate speech by many and resulted in this Dufferin County Councillor losing his position as Chair on the Infrastructure and Environmental Services Committee.

“If everybody was either lesbian or homosexual, this would be the last generation on earth, because two homosexuals cannot produce offspring, two lesbians cannot produce offspring, so why would I want to support something when this could be the last generation on earth,” Bob Currie exclaimed at the June 17th, 2020, meeting of Amaranth Council.

In addition to this, Amaranth’s mayor has protested a donation to the local food banks, called his fellow Amaranth councillors ‘scumbags’ and ‘trash’ while feigning his resignation, as well as having been named in a workplace harassment investigation that cost the township over $28,000. The related summary report stated that there was evidence that Currie had cultivated a ‘poisoned work environment’. Currie has disputed the findings of this investigation. There is currently a vacant seat on Amaranth’s council, after the person elected quit due to a ‘toxic work environment‘.

Later on in the November 12th meeting of Dufferin County Council, right before Warden Darren White made his outgoing remarks for 2020, Currie conveyed another one of his opinions.

“I would like to think anybody who has been Warden in the past would be man or woman enough to step aside and let someone else have the Warden position.”

Currie mentioned how there were plenty of people qualified for this ‘honorary’ position on council and that he was not saying this for himself. His wishes are for the role to be rotated to a different Dufferin County Councillor each year.

Darren White, Warden of Dufferin County and Mayor of Melancthon, responded by letting Currie know that the position is open to nominations and if council wants to keep him in the seat, he would gladly accept. White disagreed with the concept of rotating the seat just for the sake of it, but assured Currie that they were ‘not running a closed shop’.

White took issue with Currie’s description of warden being honorary or a ‘token’ and advised Currie that he ‘was out of touch a little’, saying that the role has changed since he was last on council. The warden asserted that there is the capacity to forward the agenda of Dufferin outside of the county’s borders, within the context of working with the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus, the Ontario Government, and the Government of Canada.

Currie claimed that he was not ‘taking a swipe at’ or criticizing anyone, he is just of the belief that there are plenty of people qualified and that there should be an annual rotation.

According to Dufferin County records, it is not out of the norm for someone to serve as Warden for one or more consecutive years. Rob Adams of Orangeville held the seat for four years, from 1995 to 1998 inclusive. More recently, for the years 2007 and 2008, the title of Warden was given to John K. Oosterhof of East Luther Grand Valley.

Every Dufferin County Councillor will have the opportunity to nominate someone for Warden at the next county council meeting on December 10th, 2020, at 2 pm. It is also expected that Amaranth’s Mayor Bob Currie’s motion to recognize ‘the creator of the universe’ will be voted on at this same meeting.

References – Dufferin County Councillor Brings Religion Into Politics

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