Controversial B.C. school trustee smokes and sips from wine glass during board meeting
VANCOUVER -- The B.C. government is once again calling on controversial Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld to resign.
During a virtual school board meeting on Tuesday, Neufeld was seen lighting a cigarette and then taking a sip from a wine glass. He then appeared to nod off.
“I wasn’t in his home but to me he looked like he was asleep,” said Chilliwack Board of Education chair Willow Reichelt. “I think it’s really important for school trustees to set a professional example at all times.”
The recorded Zoom meeting showed Neufeld light-up minutes after the meeting was called to order, and moments after he was censured by the board for using a slur in November to describe staff at a local newspaper.
“Your guess is as good as mine as to what goes through trustee Neufeld’s head,” added Reichelt. “Honestly, it wouldn’t be my choice after my colleagues had just condemned my behaviour.”
Former education minister Rob Fleming called for Neufeld's resignation last year, and his successor, Jennifer Whiteside, has ordered a review of the Chilliwack school board to make sure its trustees are respecting the human rights of students in the district.
On Thursday, Whiteside urged Neufeld to "resign immediately."
“This latest incident is a continuation of the appalling conduct that led to the appointment of special advisors to evaluate how the Chilliwack School Board is operating,” Whiteside said in a statement.
In the past he’s made discriminatory comments about the LGBTQ+ community, questioned Dr. Theresa Tam’s gender identity, and referred to the World Health Organization as corrupt.
Neufeld did not respond to requests for comment from CTV News on Thursday.