The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

‘Arrogant and petulant.’

Those words have been used to describe Vernon’s mayor by one of his council colleagues after a letter was sent to the province regarding the city’s desire to make church deemed essential.

In the letter to the Ministry of Health, Mayor Victor Cumming outlined council’s stance that ‘places of worship are essential to the mental health and material well-being of this province,’ and therefore be deemed essential and opened despite provincial health orders.

At the end of the letter, it reads that the motion was carried with Cumming and Coun. Brian Quiring opposed.

The position of these two politicians is irrelevant and hinders the strength of the letter, Coun. Scott Anderson said.

“It’s arrogant, petulant, and quite possibly a failure of duty to the office of mayor,” Anderson said at the Jan. 25 council meeting. “Please, Mr. Mayor, going forward try to lead council instead of throwing roadblocks in its way.”

Cumming defended the inclusion as being exactly what is in council’s minutes from the Jan. 11 motion made.

READ MORE: Make church an essential service: Vernon council

Chief administrative officer Will Pearce also pointed out that, “it is the consistent and the long-standing practice of the corporation to record those who were opposed to a motion that was before council.”

But divulging those details in a letter is not necessary, Anderson maintains.

“This is not our standard procedure,” Anderson said.

Council passed a motion that any future correspondence regarding motions of council simply read, ‘carried,’ without pointing out who was opposed.

Despite calling Cumming out, Coun. Anderson congratulated the mayor for, “not taking the bait from Chris Walker on CBC. He made the comment that I made false information.”

READ MORE: ‘We are making a stand:’ Kelowna church will continue to gather, despite RCMP fines


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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