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Courtenay council censures one of its own, demands his resignation

David Frisch’s conduct deemed to be unbecoming of a member of council
Courtenay City Hall. File photo

Courtenay City Council has called for the immediate resignation of Coun. David Frisch and has unanimously voted in favour of imposing a number of sanction measures for the remainder of his term.

On Feb. 23, 2023, Frisch entered into a recognizance under section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which states:

If injury or damage feared

810 (1) An information may be laid before a justice by or on behalf of any person who fears on reasonable grounds that another person

(a) Will cause personal injury to them or to their intimate partner or child or will damage their property; or

(b) Will commit an offence under section 162.1

On April 28, council for the City of Courtenay unanimously resolved to censure Frisch as a strong declaration that his conduct that has given rise to the section 810 recognizance is conduct unbecoming a member of council.

Council finds any behaviour which results in reasonable grounds to fear that a person will cause personal injury to another (Criminal Code section 810 [1]) to be unacceptable, whether the person is a member of council or otherwise.

The decision to censure and demand his immediate resignation reflects a loss of confidence in his ability to represent the city based on his conduct, and in strong disagreement of his decision to remain on city council at this time.

RELATED: Courts find Courtenay councillor not guilty of assault

In addition to adopting a motion of censure, council has sanctioned Frisch by voting to remove him from the acting mayor rotation, removing him from all applicable committees, commissions, boards and any other council appointments, and that he not attend conferences or external events.

Council also resolved to issue this public notification and to formally request that Frisch resigns from office.

In accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, Frisch was provided with advance notice of council’s intent to consider a motion of censure for conduct unbecoming, was advised of his right to retain legal counsel and for his legal counsel to be present at the council meeting at which the censure and sanction measures would be discussed and voted on.

This notice was provided to Frisch the day he returned from a leave of absence on April 11.

As a result of the provincial court proceedings, under the conditions of recognizance, Frisch is also required to participate in counselling and training, and under the Community Charter is required to notify council if he is charged with a criminal offence.

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