Saskatchewan councillor resigns after comment about killing of aboriginal man
A Saskatchewan rural councillor has resigned from his job after posting an online comment about the shooting death of a First Nations man.
The rural municipality of Browning, southeast of Regina, said in a news release that it has accepted the resignation of Lampman farmer Ben Kautz.
A screen-grab of Kautz’s post was widely circulated after the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie earlier this month.
Boushie, from the Red Pheasant First Nation, was killed after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm west of Saskatoon.
The property owner, 54-year-old Gerald Stanley, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on bail.
Kautz’s post read: “His only mistake was leaving witnesses.”
The comment was later removed from a Saskatchewan farmers group Facebook page, and the group also closed.
“The Council of the R.M. of Browning No. 34 thanks Mr. Kautz for his years of dedicated service to the R.M. as well as his volunteering on several boards, committees and associations of the community,” said the release, posted on community’s website.
Dawn Kautz told The Canadian Press last week that her husband regretted the comment and had offered to step down as councillor.
Reeve Pius Loustel said the matter would be discussed at an upcoming meeting.
Greg Wallin, administrator for the rural municipality, said Kautz’s resignation was received Tuesday and won’t need to be debated at the next council meeting.
“That’s about all we’re really going to say about it,” he said. “It was his choice to resign and that’s what he did.”
Racial tensions flared after Boushie’s killing, especially on social media, and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to Facebook to condemn what he called “racist and hate-filled” comments on the case.
RCMP also issued a public plea for people to be more respectful, saying some posts are possibly criminal. A spokeswoman said some comments are under investigation but no charges have been laid.
© 2016 The Canadian Press