Letter from the editors: We expect better from our city councillor

On Friday, we learned Sydenham District Councillor Peter Stroud—who represents Queen’s students at the municipal level—was the man identified and charged by police for blocking a Kingston Transit bus last month using not only his bicycle, but also a child.

As Stroud’s constituents, we expect better from our city councillor.

According to Kingston Police, the incident, which began on June 23 in the area of Brock St. and Alfred St., started when a city bus driver saw Stroud on his bicycle attempting to flag the bus down. The driver had already merged back into traffic and couldn’t safely pull over, police said. 

When the bus came to a stop at the intersection of Bath Rd. and Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd., Stroud rode up, placed the child and then his bicycle down in front of the bus and began to berate the driver, hitting the front window and taking photos of the driver.

Stroud has been vocal in the past about the dangers cyclists face while riding in the City, pushing for the creation of a separated transit way for cyclists, similar to infrastructure in the City of Ottawa. His Twitter bio even reads “Car-free #ygkc.”

But for all Stroud’s activism around cycling infrastructure, the incident described by police is unbecoming of a city councillor.

Berating a bus driver—an employee of the city he represents—is no way to achieve the goals Stroud claims to champion. It’s particularly concerning to do so by challenging the safety of a child and a busload of people. 

If the City doesn’t have safe cycling infrastructure, it’s certainly not the fault of the bus drivers who work hard to maintain the City’s transit system. As a city councillor, Stroud must recognize this.

Stroud should apologize to the driver and his constituents for his behaviour.

Meredith Wilson-Smith and Iain Sherriff-Scott

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