Kari Simpson, founder of Culture Guard, asks protester Kim Forster to leave a rally to support Barry Neufeld. Forster was spoken to by an RCMP member at Simpson’s request, but not made to leave. Jessica Peters/ The Progress

Chilliwack trustee a no-show at fundraiser in his honour

Barry Neufeld says his legal fund is depleting for defamation suit

A fundraising rally was held for Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld Thursday night, but he was a no-show.

The event, held at Evergreen Hall, was hosted by the Langley group Culture Guard and its founder Kari Simpson. A projector stated it was a “Thank You Rally for Barry Neufeld and the State of our Nation,” and envelopes left on the chairs had an option to donate to “Barry Neufeld’s legal fund.” However, as the night carried on it became clear the man of the hour would not make an appearance.

Two slightly different reasons were given for his absence.

Jenn Smith, a friend of Neufeld’s and a transgender writer and public speaker, said Neufeld’s absence was on the advice of his lawyer.

“Barry actually couldn’t be here tonight on the advice of his lawyers because he is involved in two legal cases and because he’s been defamed too much,” Smith stated. He also stated “Barry is a hero.”

Neufeld is involved in two Human Rights Tribunal complaints, and has announced he is taking legal action against Glen Hansman, president of the BC Teachers’ Federation for defamation. He also recently announced in a board meeting that he is taking legal action against his own school board. All four cases stem from his statements made in 2017 regarding SOGI 123, and the board’s and Hansman’s ensuing response to his statements.

After Smith spoke, the emcee of the event read a letter from Neufeld apologizing for his absence. That letter stated that Neufeld was actually afraid for his safety and unable to find a chaperone to go with him, despite needing the support for his legal fund.

“My fundraising for my defamation case is floundering and I could really use some positive media coverage at this time,” the letter said in part.

“But I do not feel I should be attending this evening… I feel very concerned about my physical safety as there is an ex-military man who has threatened myself and Mrs. (Heather) Maahs. I am subject to death threats… This man in particular has been the nastiest of my critics, a personal buddy of Justin Trudeau, as well.”

He said the man has been attending meetings and giving both him and Trustee Maahs “intimidating” looks.

“The RCMP are aware of this and have done nothing.”

The event did have security guards, and two RCMP officers were stationed there throughout the event. The only interaction the officers had with protesters was when Simpson tried to have a woman removed for holding a sign in her seat. The sign was made of pink and blue stripes and said: “Hate is a choice, being trans is not.” One officer spoke to the woman, and she and her sign were permitted to stay.

This is the second time Culture Guard has come to Chilliwack to honour Neufeld. One speaker mentioned Neufeld’s “scrappy leadership.” Like the last rally, this one drew a crowd of peaceful, colourful protesters, donned in rainbow colours and holding signs. The group included teachers, parents, and several candidates from the 2018 school board election.

Thursday evening was also a night for the Chilliwack trustees to spend with local CUPE members for a formal meeting and dinner, but Neufeld was absent. Trustee Darrell Furgason also missed the dinner, as he is out of the country.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Donation envelopes for Barry Neufeld’s legal fund were left on chairs, with cheques to be written to Culture Guard. Jessica Peters/ The Progress

A protest the Culture Guard rally was held outside and inside the building, by local parents, teachers, youth and some candidates from the 2018 school board election. Chris Braun, centre, was one of those candidates. Jessica Peters/ The Progress

An RCMP member speaks to protester Kim Forster, in the only encounter throughout the evening at Evergreen Hall. Jessica Peters/ The Progress

Culture Guard and Parents United Canada volunteers distributed literature on their views of homosexuality, transgender politics, and anti-immigration flyers. Jessica Peters/ The Progress

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from Abbotsford pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Abbotsford man’s People’s Party lawsuit heading to court

Satinder Dhillon claims rights to People’s Party, now used by former Conservative renegade Maxime Bernier

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Apr. 24, 2019

Despite yesterday’s grey and gloomy forecast, we’re looking at a bit of sun every day for the next week

VIDEO: ‘Spiderghini’ stopping in Abbotsford for Avengers: Endgame

Highstreet Shopping Centre displaying Spiderman-designed Lamborghini for movie premiere

COLUMN: Make positive change for marginalized groups, not despite them

Drug policies have a long history of at best ignoring and at worst targeting vulnerable communities

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

VIDEO: Surrey stabbing leaves man with ‘potentially life altering injuries’

Police believe an altercation between two people led to the incident, in the 13700-block of 97A Ave.

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Most Read