A service dog monument planned to be put up at Kimberley Veterans Memorial Park by the cenotaph was not approved by Kimberley city council.
On Monday night the request from the group Military Ames, which supports local veteran initiatives, was denied for a second time.
It was first denied in September 2021, because council was concerned about the location by the cenotaph and a perceived conflict of interest related to a then councillor.
The proposed statue was to commemorate veterans’ service animals locally.
Council wasn’t against the idea of the statue and in fact, were quite for it, but they still weren’t sold on having it by the cenotaph.
Jason McBain voted against the proposed statue but said he would be for it in the future if the location was changed.
“In principle, I’m in support of the cause and I’m even in support of a monument,” he said.
“I’d even argue we could find a more conspicuous place for it and even broaden the message. I find and I’ve had feedback that is stronger in opposition to the location based on the cenotaph being a memorial. If this comes again in a spot that I feel is more conspicuous and actually gets more advocacy I’m all for it.”
Military Ames had come with a petition signed by over 2,700 Kimberley residents in support.
Mayor Don McCormick said he would have preferred if they talked to more veterans instead of the general public.
“I would feel a whole lot better if the petition had been the 500-600 veterans that we have in our communities here in Cranbrook and Kimberly and surrounding areas, [as] opposed to the general public. I think the opinion of the vets is what counts,” he said.
The feedback I have been getting is that not all veterans are in favour of this and in fact, I think there is a more than offsetting constituency that would like to see it stay the same as it is.”
McCormick was also concerned about the location.
“I look at what the purpose of the cenotaph has been and it’s really about the sacrifices of those who served and keeping the memory of those achievements and sacrifices alive.”
Not everyone on council was against the proposal. Councillors Sue Cairns, Sandra Roberts and Steven Royer voted in favour while McBain, Woody Maguire, Kevin Dunnebacke and McCormick voted against.
The decision was met with anger in council chambers by members of Military Ames and supporters.
After the vote was done a crowd stormed out while stopping to give the mayor and council a piece of their minds including expletives hurled McCormick’s way.
Council still said they are open to finding a different alternative and praised the efforts of Military Ames in helping veterans recover from traumatic experiences.