The entirety of Weyburn’s city council has apologized for a controversial decision to reject a proposed special needs group home project in the community.

“We would like to sincerely apologize to the community of Weyburn, the province of Saskatchewan and fellow Canadians who have been hurt by the words said in Council Chambers on Monday,” the open letter read. “We are deeply sorry for the dialogue which caused suffering to the individuals with disabilities in our community and the distress this has placed on residents across our city and province.”

The apology comes in the wake of a council vote on Monday to reject the development proposal for a group home project in the neighbourhood known as the Creeks, after residents of the area voiced their concerns the home would lower property values, create a community safety risk and impact insurance rates.

Council faced heavy criticism from special needs care workers, the provincial government and others around Saskatchewan over the decision.

Since then, several councilors have apologized individually, leading now to an apology from all members of council.

“The intent of the conversation was never to hurt or exclude any group or individuals,” the apology stated. “We handled the situation poorly and the statements that were made are not excusable.”

“We humbly and deeply apologize to Weyburn, Saskatchewan and our country. As a council, we are continuing to exhaust all avenues to find a solution to get the care home built and to begin the healing process with our community.”