WINCHESTER – North Dundas Councillor Tyler Hoy stepped out after a five-minute meeting held to reprimand him Monday evening to insist he has no intention of resigning and, in fact, his interest in municipal politics has been reinvigorated. Hoy created controversy after claiming on social media that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group.
Speaking to NVN, he emphasized that he isn’t a racist but doesn’t agree with violent acts connected to some BLM rallies. He won’t apologize for that stand and didn’t during brief remarks he made during the quickie meeting in Joel Steele Community Centre.
“I have black friends who run away from BLM,” Hoy said. “It doesn’t represent their interests.”
The meeting was set to start at 7 p.m. and several people milled about outside the community centre a few minutes past the appointed hour disgruntled that they were locked out due to COVID-19 crowd limitations. Many were area farmers sympathetic to Hoy, calling his treatment unfair.
Winchester resident Harvey Blais burst out of the centre close to 7 p.m. stating he was ejected after demanding the right to speak … which wasn’t given to audience members. Blais told NVN he plans to pursue the issue with a formal complaint.
He maintained the meeting was a waste of time and tax dollars because Hoy had said nothing publicly in the context of councillor for North Dundas. He called the meeting an attempt to “publicly humiliate” Hoy hoping that he would resign or at least apologize.
Mayor Tony Fraser has already indicated he has no intention of trying to force Hoy to resign. As far as Fraser and council are concerned, the matter is closed. Hoy said he’ll see how things are shaping up prior to the next election and will decide at that time whether or not to run again.
Cash cropper Hoy was the only one of five council members to vote against the reprimand moved by Councillor John Thompson and seconded by Councillor Gary Annable which was initiated partly in response of a formal complaint raised by Chris Clapp, a social worker from a North Dundas farming family who lives in Cornwall.
The resolution states that council doesn’t condone the behaviour exhibited by Hoy and “supports the struggle of people of colour to realize equal treatment.” The statement by Hoy doesn’t reflect “the view of council or the corporation of the Township of North Dundas.”
Clapp told NVN the matter isn’t over in her mind although she too has no interest in trying to force Hoy’s resignation. She wished he wouldn’t have voted against the motion and had apologized for his social media stand against BLM.
She noted that, while some violent incidents have occurred during street rallies, Black Lives Matter is a peaceful movement trying to improve the lives and standing of people of colour. The one person of colour present, local resident Penelope Arnold, said she has experienced racial slurs and it’s time for action and accountability.
Both women insisted council hasn’t done enough and they’ll meet with others during the next two weeks to decide on further steps.