‘Abuse of process’: Police remove two people from Nanaimo city council meeting Monday

'Abuse of process': Police remove two people from Nanaimo city council meeting Monday
Alan Clarke is escorted out of Nanaimo council chambers on May 27.

A Nanaimo City Council meeting went sideways this week before police were called to remove a delegation.

The officers arrested two people who refused to leave and the mayor says this is not the kind of behaviour he expects from those coming to speak to council.

Police forcibly put handcuffs on Alan Clarke who had just been speaking to Nanaimo City Council.

When his allotted five minutes was up, which is disputed by Clarke, he continued his attack on the mayor.

“The fact that you’re still sitting in that chair is a disgrace when I’m making my…” said Clarke before he was no longer audible.

“Mr. Clarke the mic is off. I’m going to ask you to stop,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.

Council took a recess and soon officers were trying to convince Clarke to leave who was refusing to go. Officers eventually cuffed him and one woman and escorted them out of the chambers.

Watch the full story below:

“We haven’t had any incidents even remotely like this since the election of this council,” said Krog, who noted police were involved in escorting Clarke out of the last meeting he attended earlier this month.

Earlier in the meeting, Clarke indicated he was going to speak about bylaws about Elected Officials Oath of Office and their Code of Conduct before he launched into the mayor.

“You interrupt me again when I criticize you. You were bullying, intimidating, threatening. This was you Mr. Mayor,” said Clarke.

Clarke says the mayor was disrespectful of him when he spoke to council previously and these last two meetings he’s been trying to address that.

“My focus is the mayor and the blatant breaking of bylaws from bullying to not respecting the citizens right to talk,” said Clarke.

The mayor says while he gave Clarke five minutes, Clarke was not speaking to council business and the bylaws as a delegation should.

“It’s an abuse of process. It’s a public place. It’s a meeting of council. It’s not a public forum like a town hall or something like that,” said Krog.

Clarke admits he may have taken things too far. “I got a little hot under the collar at the end of my [speech] and I’m not proud of that but I wasn’t abusive. I was just calling him out.”

The mayor says looking around the province we have become an uncivil society, especially at the municipal level.

“You’re talking about an incredibly small minority of people who have views that are extreme is the kindest thing I can say, and I would hope after the necessity of having to call the police to have them removed that we won’t see a repeat of these kinds of incidents,” said Krog.

Clarke and the woman were both released by police outside of council chambers and are not facing any criminal charges.

The video of the meeting can be found here.

Earlier this month, a second member of Sayward Village Council resigned amid strife among council.

SEE ALSO: City of Nanaimo considering expansion of downtown safety measures

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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