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1983 – a young man clad only in a pair of shorts and looking, according to a watchman, “like Jesus himself,” attended the corporate and administrative services committee meeting.

Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal
June 24, 1983
Page 1
Going to a council meeting? Dress for it

If you lose your shirt don’t go to city hall for help. Pretty soon they probably won’t even let you in.

City council passed a motion Thursday night instructing administration to draw up a dress code for people visiting city hall.

The new policy is the result of an incident Wednesday night when a young man clad only in a pair of shorts and looking, according to a watchman, “like Jesus himself,” attended the corporate and administrative services committee meeting.

John Chabot, the evening receptionist and watchman at city hall, says he told the young man he couldn’t go up to council chambers without a shirt. The man went away saying there was no bylaw preventing him from attending so Chabot set off the alarm to call police.

Two officers arrived shortly but found they had no authority to remove the man.

Alderman Lawrence Timko from McKellar ward, who supported the motion for a dress code, said shorts and bathing suits are simply not appropriate for council chambers and he wants, very simply, that people have some clothes.

Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal
June 28, 1983
City and Area – Page 11
Ban Bomb, Not Shorts?

If city council would put as much emphasis on banning the bomb as they are on shorts from the council chambers, world peace might be achieved says Brian Salmi, 20, who triggered a call for a dress code at city hall last week.

Salmi, who attended a city council committee meeting last week wearing only a pair of shorts, was the subject of much criticism from council.

Salmi said Wednesday proved to be a hot, muggy day and he wanted to attend the meeting of council to protest the arms race but was dressed only in shorts, so he decided to go as he was – bare chested. A security guard at city hall challenged the young man, telling him he could not attend the nuclear freeze meeting, “like that.”

Salmi persisted and subsequently went into the meeting. Police were called, but city officials were told that was no bylaw on the books to prevent him from attending and police could take no action.

As a result, council decided to establish a bylaw setting a minimum dress code. Administration is to come up with recommendations.

Salmi contends council does not have a right to set a dress code for those attending meetings. “After all, they are elected to serve the people, not rule them,” he said.

“It is an infringement of my human rights to tell me what I should or should not wear. After all, I don’t like some of the clothes they (council members) wear but what right have I to tell them what they should wear?”

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