A controversial Chilliwack School District trustee has apologized for comments he made about Canada’s top doctor.
In a Facebook post over the weekend, Barry Neufeld suggested that Dr. Theresa Tam may be transgender and, if so, has been deceiving Canadians and should not be trusted.
He went on to call Tam a “major player in the corrupt World Health Organization.”
He accused the WHO of “perpetrating fear” over the novel coronavirus pandemic and attacked its positions on transgender supportive education and the right to access abortions.
Minister of Education Rob Fleming described the post as “the height of irresponsibility,” adding that it amounted to spreading “false news in the middle of a pandemic.”
WATCH (November 2017): Chilliwack school trustee compares gender transitioning to child abuse:
Neufeld addressed the comments during a public school board meeting held Tuesday night via Zoom.
“I deeply regret and apologize for my comments on social media,” he said. “I will be addressing them more fully in the near future.”
Neufeld has previously come under fire for a series of public and social media comments in which he compared gender transitioning to “child abuse” and called gender confusion a “sexual addiction.”
The education minister has previously called on him to resign, although he acknowledged he has no power to remove a sitting trustee.
In response to Neufeld’s comments, the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association has asked the public to use the hashtag #ThisIsMyChilliwack to share stories of how educators in the district demonstrate “respect, inclusivity and positivity.”
An online petition calling for Neufeld to be removed from his post with the Chilliwack School District has garnered more than 6,000 signatures.
— With files from Simon Little