Basran calls for civility

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran called for civility and a commitment to civil discourse after he was the subject of an online death threat over a controversial apartment development in South Pandosy.

Flanked by his wife Leanne, two children, mother and councillors Gail Given and Loyal Wooldridge, Basran said the incident is not acceptable under any circumstances.

"It's unacceptable to me, it's unacceptable to my family, and I am sure it's unacceptable to the majority of society," he said.

RCMP arrested a 52-year-old Kelowna man after an online post attributed to Bruce Edward Taylor  said "put a bullet in the (expletive)."

Basran stated decisions made by elected officials face public scrutiny and criticism, but Tuesday's comment encouraging violence "is where I draw the line."

"The bigger issue here is about civility, and a collective commitment to civil discourse.

"More than ever, it's vital to challenge those who use personal attacks, online bullying or vulgar language to stifle opposing points of view.

"Simply put, it is sad that I have to stand here before you and make a plea for civility and talk about why bullying and harassment is intolerable."

Despite the hurt the threat caused Basran and his family, he said this is an opportunity for the community to grow.

Basran says it's a reminder that we can disagree, but do so respectfully.

Earlier in the day, Basran issued a brief statement via Instagram saying in part, "If this is the new norm for elected officials, I want no part of it."

The mayor did not address that last comment specifically during his speech, or whether he contemplated stepping down at any point during the past 24 hours.

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