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'Unprecedented in our city': Leduc mayor shuts down council meeting amid transphobic rant


The "public commentary" portion of a city council meeting in Leduc, Alta., ended abruptly Monday night when a woman insisted colours of the Progress Pride flag stand for bestiality, necrophilia and paedophilia.

The woman, who identified herself as Laurel, stood up to speak alongside a man who ranted for several minutes prior against Pride symbols, while also speaking about government-sprayed chemicals changing people's genders and claiming children are being "brainwashed" by Pride events.

He was introduced as Bill McDavid and said he was a member of the "freedom movement."

McDavid’s first name is actually Phil, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, which also stated he is the brother of Elliot McDavid, the man who made national headlines last summer when he confronted Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in Grande Prairie.

The woman refused to provide her last name, but McDavid said it was the same as his.

About eight minutes after he started speaking and about four minutes after she took over at the podium, Mayor Bob Young said "we're going too far" and recessed the meeting.

Early Tuesday morning, one of Leduc's councillors posted on social media, calling McDavid's commentary "a disgusting profanity-laced tirade in relation to the city’s Pride initiatives."

Ryan Pollard raised several points of order during the rants and later said the scene was "truly chaotic" and devolved into a "clown show."

"We lost complete control of the meeting, which I have to assume was the whole point," Pollard told CTV News Edmonton.

"I left the chamber as did the Mayor. When we were outside we could still hear them screaming inside. It was literal screaming at each other…There was real concern for the safety of the people present."

He said Bill McDavid registered ahead of time to speak about an agenda item concerning a gate but "quickly deviated wildly from the topic."

About 30 people were in the chamber supporting the McDavids, Pollard said, and after arguing with members of the public in the atrium, the group eventually left.

The meeting moved onto agenda items not open to the public before it ended.

Pollard wouldn't say if police were called but confirmed Leduc does not have any kind of uniformed officers posted at their meetings. He wrote in his post that members of council were threatened, but didn't want to provide details about what was said to whom.

Pollard said there's no strictly-enforced time limit on public commentary because most people are respectful, but council will have to review the process going forward.

At one point in his comments, McDavid also claimed he has been "working with Danielle Smith for the last year or so."

But on Wednesday, a spokesperson in her office told CTV News Edmonton, "This man has no connection to the premier."

Video of Laurel McDavid's rant was shared on social media Tuesday drawing condemnation from across Canada.

"This is unhinged. Absolutely unhinged," wrote Ottawa freelance journalist Dale Smith.

"This type of disgusting hate is clearly not just a few angry people on the Internet," wrote NDP MLA Janis Irwin.

"It’s not a one-off. It’s deliberate. It’s targeted. And it will continue to escalate unless we all step up. Get loud, Alberta."

Pollard said he had to condemn the comments because he won't allow Leduc's council chamber to become "a vector for conspiracy theories, hateful messages, misinformation."

"This disgraceful conduct betrays a naked contempt for our democratic processes, and it’s unprecedented in our city," he wrote in his post.

"We won’t be cowed or intimidated. Not as a council, not as a city, not as a people."

CTV News Edmonton reached out to RCMP to ask if officers were dispatched to the meeting.

Mounties in Leduc started a vandalism investigation on Saturday after black tire marks were left on a Pride crosswalk Top Stories

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