Nanaimo councillor apologizes for comment about seniors and sidewalks

Coun. Jim Kipp said he was making point that adults have more responsibility for pedestrian safety

A Nanaimo city councillor whose comments about sidewalks offended some seniors has apologized.

Coun. Jim Kipp made a public apology at Monday’s meeting at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Two weeks prior, during an e-town hall meeting about the city’s financial plan, Kipp had made a comment about prioritizing sidewalk safety for children.

“I’d just like to apologize to the public that I offended for saying that I wouldn’t worry about the loss of some elders. It shouldn’t have come across that way,” he said. “I don’t know if the paper got my complete quote, that I explained about the drivers, but I do apologize for that.”

He said the point he was trying to get across is that adults have a better understanding of the road and bear some responsibility for their own pedestrian safety, more so than children do.

Kipp gave examples of sidewalk projects around the city that took two years to get done.

“My frustration is when I see areas that this council’s concern is very serious and the public concern is very serious, that I guess it’s hard for our corporation to act fast and I guess that’s my frustration,” Kipp said.

Mayor Bill McKay noted that staff had pointed out earlier in the night that there is $300,000 annually budgeted for pedestrian amenities in the financial plan.

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