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Chilliwack school board censured trustee over comments about federal chief doctor's gender

Last Updated May 27, 2020 at 10:08 am PDT

FILE - The Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld. (Photo courtesy Barry Neufeld, via Facebook)
Summary

Board chair Dan Coulter said Wednesday that Neufeld has been censured

Neufeld created a firestorm when he posted comments on Facebook questioning the gender identity Dr. Theresa Tam

Neufeld remains on the board and has apologized

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) — The Chilliwack school board says it has censured a trustee for his inflammatory comments questioning the gender of Canada’s top doctor.

Board chair Dan Coulter said Wednesday that Neufeld has been censured, but did not expand on what that entails.

“At this time, it’s internal to the board and I’m not sure if and when we will release exactly what that means,” Coulter added.

Neufeld created a firestorm earlier this month when he posted comments on Facebook questioning the gender identity of Canada’s public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, suggesting she is trangender, and, therefore, untrustworthy regarding information about COVID-19.

“I wish he wouldn’t have made that post and I wish he wouldn’t be continuing to make these types of posts, so, no, I’m not necessarily happy about how this is playing out,” Coulter said.

The Chilliwack school board may release details of its censure of Neufeld at a later date, he added.

Neufeld remains on the board. He previously apologized for controversial anti-LGBT comments attacking Tam and the World Health Organization.

His apology cames as calls for his resignation and removal from the Chilliwack School Board spurred an online petition, which had more 20,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

Education Minister Rob Fleming called Neufeld’s post “hateful” and “unhinged.” Fleming said he would be taking his concerns about Neufeld’s actions to the B.C. Human Rights Commissioner.

Coulter wouldn’t comment on what the censure means for Neufeld’s political career.

The next municipal election, where voters also select school trustees, is in 2022.