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HomeRegional NewsNewsCastlegar mayor apologizes for email about nurse vaccinations

Castlegar mayor apologizes for email about nurse vaccinations

Castlegar’s mayor has apologized to her council over an email about mandatory vaccinations for nurses, saying she never meant for her personal opinion to be interpreted as council’s position.

Maria McFaddin offered the mea culpa during her report to council this week. She said she recently responded to a couple of emails from nurses concerned about ongoing vaccine mandates for their profession.

McFaddin said she thought she made it clear she was sharing her personal opinion and not speaking for council, and further did not realize the people she replied to represented a group.

“They didn’t address their emails from an organization, but but in fact they were from a group looking for support on a provincial government level,” she said. “I misspoke in how I worded it.”

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The message has since been circulated on Instagram as follows:

McFaddin said she erred in saying “we,” for while some municipalities have raised concerns about the issue of mandatory vaccinations with Interior Health, Castlegar is not one of them.

“I will do my due diligence and I apologize for any misconception that made it sound like any of you take a stance that you do not take,” she said.

Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff said while she was glad McFaddin acknowledged her mistake, she felt she “overstepped” her position.

“Everyone has a personal voice, but when you use the office of the mayor email it represents all of us. That’s what it sounded like. It reads as if we support that.

“As a mom to a nurse, I take the subject very [seriously] … I shouldn’t have to spend my weekend trying to justify why it’s not my personal view. It just put us in a really bad light.”

Heaton-Sherstobitoff said her understanding is the email was included in a package submitted to the government, something McFaddin said she will try to rectify.

Councillor Brian Bogle said he also appreciated McFaddin’s clarification, but spoke to one Interior Health employee who saw the email and “took it as a slap in the face because they complied with the mandates.”

Councillor Shirley Falstead said she was “quite disappointed in [McFaddin’s] stand,” noting she also has children who are nurses and have patients dying of COVID.

Councillor Sandy Bojechko said she welcomed McFaddin’s apology and feels she was mislead by the people who wrote the original email.

“We’re all going to have different opinions, even on polarizing issues, but need to be careful when speaking on behalf of council,” said councillor Darcy Bell who said he accepted that it was not McFaddin’s intent to present her view as anything other than her own.

“We’ve all made mistakes,” said councillor Cherryl MacLeod. “Thank you for owning it.”

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