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Heard loud and clear

Paradise council says it will take Remembrance Day criticism into account for next year

By Mark Squibb/November 18, 2021

The decision by the Town of Paradise to hold a small, by-invite-only Remembrance Day ceremony rather than a public one drew the ire of some residents, and members of council were eager to discuss the matter during this week’s public meeting.

“It was a beautiful ceremony, and I wanted to thank the town, and all of the councilors who participated in the ceremony, paying tribute to those who served, and continue to serve, our great country,” said Deputy Mayor Kim Street. “We as a community acknowledge the courage and sacrifices of those who have fought for our freedoms and still serve. But I wanted to note, that I received several requests from people asking that in the future no matter the weather, the ceremony be held outside.”

Mayor Dan Bobbett said he believed all members of council received similar requests.

The Town had posted on social media on the eve of Remembrance Day that due to COVID-19 restrictions, it would be holding a small, by-invitation-only ceremony.

The next day, the Town said the decision to move the ceremony inside was based on the poor weather forecast.

Bobbett allowed that an outside event would come with fewer restrictions related to Covid-19 protocols.

Councilor Elizabeth Laurie said that had the ceremony been held outside, council likely would have still received complaints.

“Myself and the CAO were talking on that day, and we know that a lot of comments were coming into us about having it inside or having it outside, and it’s one of those situations where if you had it outside and it’s bad weather, we would receive criticism for that, as we have in the past,” said Laurie. “But we’re going to put it on the Recreation (committee) agenda to see if there are ways that we can make improvements for next time. So, I just wanted to let everyone know that that would be our plan.”

Councilor Larry Vaters also added to the conversation.

“We all received some comments and some questions, and first of all, I want to say it was a great ceremony, and I want to thank staff for taking the time to put that together for sure,” said Vaters. “If there are opportunities for improvement, I’m sure we’ll investigate those. It’s important certainly to listen to the residents and what their concerns are, and this particular event is no exception to that for sure.”

Councilor Deborah Quilty thanked staff for their hard work organizing the ceremony, and addressed the complaints she received.

“I did have a number of inquiries concerning having it outdoors no matter what the weather, and I certainly agree with that option,” said Quilty. “I’m looking forward to some of the comments that might come from Recreation, because I know we did have a lot of comments on social media about having it indoors and the limited number of people we could invite.”

Councilor Glen Carew said he wouldn’t belabor the points already raised, but he did want to point out the beautiful cards crafted by students and put on display through the gymnasium.

“That was nice to see that,” said Carew. “They took a lot of time and effort to do that. I thought it was something noteworthy.”

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