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Courtenay council calling for Frisch resignation, votes in favour of sanctions

The immediate resignation of councillor David Frisch is being called for by Courtenay city council.

Council voted unanimously to censure Frisch at the end of April and voted in favour of imposing sanction measures for the remainder of his term, according to a release.

The vote comes after Frisch entered a recognizance under section 810 of the Criminal Code in late February, which can be invoked when someone fears they will be harmed, or their property damaged.

“Council finds any behaviour which results in reasonable grounds to fear that a person will cause personal injury to another to be unacceptable, whether the person is a member of council or otherwise,” said council in the statement.

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“The decision to censure and demand his immediate resignation reflects a loss of confidence in his ability to represent the city based on his conduct, and in strong disagreement of his decision to remain on city council at this time.”

Frisch has been removed from the acting mayor rotation, all applicable committees, commissions, boards and any other council appointments. He also will not attend conferences or external events and council formally requested he resign from office.

The city says Frisch was provided with advance notice when he returned on April 11 of council’s intent to consider a motion of censure.

He was also advised of his right to retain legal counsel and for his legal counsel to be present at the council meeting when the censure and sanction measures would be discussed.

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Frisch is also required to participate in counselling and training and notify council if he is charged with a criminal offence under the Community Charter.

At a previous council meeting, Frisch issued a verbal apology to council members asking to be accepted again in the future.

The apology is as follows:

“Dear Mayor and Council and colleagues, I’m writing this to express my deep remorse for my actions that have caused hurt and disappointment among those I admire and respect.

“I’m truly sorry for the pain and frustration that my conduct has caused. I want to be transparent and acknowledge that I have made mistakes. As a proud person, it has been difficult for me to accept that I have been disliked, feared and misunderstood.

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“I understand I have failed to live up to the standards many expect of a councillor, and I regret that deeply. I want to assure you that I am committed to making amends and moving forward in a positive direction.

“I know I have a lot of work to do and I’m willing to do what it takes to regain your trust and confidence. I recognize that the road ahead will be challenging, and emotions will continue to be mixed.

“However, I am eager to get to work and focus on the shared vision we have for our community. I believe that I can still contribute to the betterment of our city and represent the interests of the community that elected us.

“I am grateful for the hope that this council’s focus on positive change has given me, and I am committed to staying focused on moving big ideas. I believe that we can achieve great things for our community if we work together.

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“I understand it may take time for me to regain your trust and I’m willing to be patient. I hope that you can accept me again at the council table and work with me to achieve our shared goals.”

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