Dawn Sloane calls Bill Karsten out for repeated interruptions

Halifax councillors deal with alleged sexism.

Halifax councillors Dawn Sloane and Bill Karsten came tete-to-tete at Tuesday’s council meeting. Sloane had been recognized to speak by mayor Peter Kelly, and was explaining her views on a relatively mundane issue, sidewalk sweepers, when Karsten, as he often does, interrupted her with asides and mumblings.

“Do you mind? I am talking; I’m sick and tired of you doing that,” said Sloane angrily. When Kelly tried to get the discussion back on track, Sloane explained further: “Your Worship, every time you turn around, councillor Karsten has something to say, and he does it only when women stand up---I’m sick and tired of it.”

Karsten in turn objected to that characterization. “Your Worship, I would kindly ask the councillor [Sloane] to retract that, because that’s three times, Your Worship---I’m 61 years of age, OK? I have never in my life had disrespect for women, and this is three times that the councillor and another councillor have propagated that and so help me God, I will not tolerate that, because it’s my reputation at stake, my good name at stake, and I will not have councillors belittling my good name in front of myself, the viewing audience and the public.”

Sloane refused to retract the statement, and Karsten insisted he wouldn’t let the issue die, but by the end of the meeting neither mentioned it again.

Readers can find a recording of the conflict up above the headline of this post, and a transcript of the entire exchange after the jump, and my observations after that.

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