A 2020 Facebook post by a Vancouver Island councillor containing a sexist meme is being reviewed by his municipality.
The meme is of an old man holding a cigarette and can of beer saying “When your woman is acting up, just tell her ‘less bitchen’ more kitchen. Women love it when you rhyme.”
Ted Swabey, North Cowichan’s CAO, said the municipality is reviewing the post against any applicable [municipal] policies and will take the appropriate action based on the review.
“We are taking this issue very seriously and the matter is under review for council, including seeking legal advice on actions available to the municipality, and therefore, no further comments can be made at this time,” Swabey said.
Mayor Al Siebring added the post is being reviewed under the lens of North Cowichan’s code of conduct policy.
“We’ll wait for the review to be concluded, and then we’ll determine what happens next,” he said.
Manhas said he won’t comment on the issue until council has discussed it, which is expected at its next meeting scheduled for April 7.
In a post on his Facebook page, Manhas said, “Last June I shared a post from somebody that at the time I thought was funny. However upon further self reflection and comments from the public I have taken down the post. I sincerely apologize for any negative effects or harm this may have caused to many people.”
In 2018, the municipality adopted its new code of conduct policy which set out the expectation for council members to adhere to when carrying out their duties and functions on behalf of North Cowichan.
The code of conduct is intended to set behavioural expectations for council members that will instill public trust and confidence, contribute to a respectful workplace and not bring the municipality into disrepute.