Regina city council has officially voted to remove Coun. Dan Leblanc from the board of Community and Social Impact Regina (CSIR).
The decision came after a tense debate Wednesday at city hall.
A number of community delegates were in attendance at the meeting Wednesday afternoon who put their support behind LeBlanc, urging council to keep him on the CSIR board.
However, council voted seven to two in favour of LeBlanc’s removal, with LeBlanc and Coun. Andrew Stevens being the only two voting against. Coun. Shanon Zachidniak was not present.
“Councillor LeBlanc is a good man but not the right man to represent this council on that board,” said Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins.
Wednesday was the first time Regina mayor Sandra Masters explained her reasoning for wanting LeBlanc removed – she stated it stemmed from his previous lawsuit against city manager Nikki Anderson.
“Put yourself in Miss Anderson’s shoes when she shows up to that board meeting and it’s Coun. LeBlanc who is there,” Masters explained. “I’m going to suggest that she feels intimidated and she felt harassed with a lawsuit … (but) those are just my words.”
Stevens, who voted against the decision, questions why no community members had shown up or publicly voiced their support of having LeBlanc removed.
“I’ve seen nothing convincing me that we should pursue and essentially purge and punish a councillor for being committed to the issues embedded within this strategy,” Stevens said.
For Masters, however, it is a different story.
“Why they won’t speak out against it is (because of) the social media frenzy and culture of outrage that exists at opposing views,” Masters said.
Leblanc says the outcome of the vote is what he expected and that he will continue to push for more impactful changes in the community rather than take an incremental approach.
“It seems like there’s a real value on sort of Victorian politeness rather than substantive justice,” LeBlanc said. “I think that’s garbage, it’s predictable but it’s predictable garbage.”
LeBlanc will be replaced on the CSIR board by another councillor and that vote will take place at the next council meeting on Feb. 22.