LONDON, ONT. —
London Public Library board member Jeremy McCall has resigned from the library board, blaming online fallout from comments made by city councillor Arielle Kayabaga.
“Last night, I resigned from something very important to me,” writes McCall in an online post Sunday.
“I neither am, nor do any of the things, Councillor Kayabaga labelled myself and my colleagues as doing. We are all drowning in the same pool of fighting to maximize limited resources to touch as many people as possible.”
McCall adds, “Someone put their own foot on my head to elevate their own profile.”
During budget deliberations on Thursday, council considered a Business Case submitted by the LPL board to discontinue municipal funding for a WIFI hotspot lending program. Council heard that the program would remain funded until the end of 2020, and the library is hoping to fund its continuation through donations or corporate sponsorship.
Speaking against the elimination of the funding, Coun. Kayabaga called the business case an “anti-immigrant, anti-poverty, anti-women, anti-children type of motion.”
Coun. Shawn Lewis, who sits on the library board, objected to the comment, insisting it “impugned” board members for their decision.
Kayabaga refused to withdraw her comment. The standoff ended when a motion to have Kayabaga ejected from the meeting failed.
McCall calls her comments a mischaracterization of his actions as a member of the board.
“Over the past few days, Councillor Kayabaga has endlessly retweeted messages of support for sticking to her guns and speaking her mind.”
He says he has privately asked the councillor to walk back her comments, but she simply forwarded a copy of her Jan. 31 statement.
McCall adds he is glad Kayabaga was not removed from the budget meeting.
Kayaba also referred CTV News to a statement she sent out Friday which says that libraries serve historically marginalized communities.
She says cuts to library services limit opportunity for marginalized people.
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