The Town of South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Garry Michi had tendered his immediate resignation, according to the Municipality on Tuesday. The announcement, which took effect immediately, came amidst a flurry of controversy surrounding comments made by Mayor Michi in an audio clip that surfaced over the weekend.
In a statement released by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, it was confirmed that Mayor Michi's resignation had been accepted. The town expressed deep regret over the incident and extended heartfelt apologies to the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, as well as to all other First Nations communities.
"The people from local First Nations communities are our neighbors and they are our friends. The Town wants to reiterate that it does not support or agree with any of Mr. Michi’s comments posted in an audio clip on August 25, 2023," Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland said in a statement.
The audio clip in question had raised widespread concerns as Mayor Michi was heard making comments that were seen as insensitive and disrespectful towards First Nations communities. His comments sparked outrage and led to demands for his resignation from various quarters, including community leaders and advocacy groups.
The resignation of Mayor Michi comes as the Town continues to grapple with the fallout of his remarks. Many have expressed concern over the potential damage his comments might have caused to the relationships between the Town and its indigenous neighbors. The Town has, however, remained steadfast in its commitment to fostering strong relationships with local First Nations communities.
As part of their efforts to address the situation, Kirkland reiterated the communities' support for federal initiatives aimed at improving living conditions and ensuring access to clean drinking water for all First Nations people across Canada. It's a stance that underscores the Town's acknowledgment of the difficulties faced by First Nations communities in accessing basic necessities like clean drinking water.
In light of these developments, the Special Meeting of Council that was originally scheduled for August 30th at 2 pm has been cancelled.
The Town Council will be convening in the near future to determine the course of action moving forward.