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Halifax mayor wades into debate over Chris Brown's Canada concert

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Jul 15, 2013 | 10:26am EDT

Chris Brown is facing further opposition over his upcoming concert in Halifax, Canada after the city's mayor criticised organisers for hiring the controversial singer to headline the show. The Kiss Kiss hitmaker has been announced as the top act at the upcoming Energy Rush concert on 31 August (13), but his inclusion on the bill has been met with a negative reaction from many members of the community. Bosses at telecommunications firm Rogers Communications, one of several sponsors of the show, axed their support of the gig after Brown was announced as a headliner, and now the city's mayor, Mike Savage, has also voiced his opposition to the singer's inclusion in the concert. He tells Canada's Chronicle Herald, "It makes me kind of sick, to be honest with you, that someone like this will be performing in Halifax. Those of us who are in public life - I'm in public life, he's in public life - you have to be responsible for your past actions, and I think it sends a very, very wrong message to everybody. I'm not keen on the city supporting this in any way." Brown, who is on probation for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, is also facing a backlash from members of the public, who have started a petition calling for the star to be removed from the bill. The petition on Change.org, titled Stop Chris Brown Headlining Energy Rush, garnered more than 800 signatures in the two days after it was created on Saturday (13Jul13). A statement posted on the website reads, "As a city, (we) believe it reflects poorly on us to not only host such an artist, but to make him the headliner of this show. It says that as a city, we do not care for domestic abuse as long as you can write a catchy dance song." A representative for Brown previously criticised the sponsor's decision to drop out of the gig, calling the star's detractors "short-sighted and uninformed", adding, "Chris is an award-winning artist whose goal is to inspire and entertain. He engages in many philanthropic endeavours to support his community and communities worldwide... Chris strives to learn from his past and to grow as a person, as we should all do. Chris is looking forward to being a part of the Energy Rush Concert Series."

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