Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld at the board’s last meeting before the Oct. 20, 2018 election. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press file)

Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld at the board’s last meeting before the Oct. 20, 2018 election. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press file)

Chilliwack-Hope community award program faces backlash for honouring controversial school trustee

MP Mark Strahl says the only criteria for the award was a nomination from the community

A community award program set up by Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl came under fire Sunday, following news that a controversial Chilliwack trustee received the award.

The Chilliwack-Hope Community Heroes Award was given out to more than 100 people in the communities and was intended for “those who went above and beyond to help and care for others,” Strahl said in a media statement on Monday.

The only criteria for the award was a nomination, he added. In the process, Trustee Barry Neufeld was nominated, and posted his award on his public Facebook page on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Critics were quick to point out that Neufeld has posted several questionable comments throughout the pandemic. He once posted that he believes Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam is transgender and as such, shouldn’t be trusted regarding the coronavirus. He was eventually censured by the school board for his comments.

Neufeld has also posted recently that “dozens of huge 747s are arriving in Vancouver completely empty.”

He continues: “But they are loading up with Chinese ex pats, their kids, their cats and dogs and all their belongings and returning to China. What is going on? Rats leaving a sinking ship? Fleeing before an invasion?”

In response to media requests about the awards, Strahl confirmed that the awards were given out based on nominations.

“Everyone who was nominated received an award, including two local school trustees: Barry Neufeld and Willow Reichelt,” he said. He also said that awarding Neufeld, or any other of the recipients, did not equal endorsement of their views or actions.

“These awards in no way serve to endorse any recipient’s personal views, including those of Mr. Neufeld,” he said. “I did not endorse nor oppose any nominations that were received from the community. I did not make any nominations myself.”

He added that he started the Community Hero Awards to thank those businesses, people and not-for-profits that came together to help each other.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school board censures controversial trustee Barry Neufeld


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNews

Just Posted

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in December that Surrey’s new hospital will be located in Cloverdale, next to KPU. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
Health minister expects construction of Surrey’s new hospital in Cloverdale to begin in 2023, open in 2027

Adrian Dix spoke Tuesday in a Zoom meeting hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade concerning the new hospital

(Photo: City of Surrey)
Surrey backs ‘Canada Day Drumming’ world-record attempt; sign up by June 23

‘Everyone is welcome to join this free, exciting initiative and help us set this new record’

A Surrey lawyer has been suspended for two months for conduct unbecoming the profession. (File photo)
Surrey lawyer suspended following 2018 domestic incident

Law Society imposes two-month penalty on Narinder Pal Singh Kang

Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation annual giving manager Shari Barr (left) and executive director Lisa Hoglund (right) present Howard H. with a cheque for $10,910, his winnings in the first-ever DHCHF digital 50/50 raffle. (Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation photo)
South Delta man wins $10,910 in online hospital foundation raffle

Tickets on sale for this month’s draw until noon on June 30

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

When they last met, Giants fell 3-0 to the Prince George Cougars. Both will renew their rivalry in Maple Ridge on Sept. 24. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
Vancouver Giants to play preseason games in Maple Ridge, Delta

Exhibition schedule will start in September

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Most Read