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EDITORIAL: Folly-la-la-la: MP Moore and Port Moody council behaviour atrocious
In the holiday season, perhaps some silliness could be forgiven. But the actions of MP James Moore and Port Moody council in the last two weeks are so atrocious as to be beyond folly.
In Moore’s case, the savvy MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam was widely excoriated for saying to a radio reporter: “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”
Several days later, he posted a statement on his website, saying: “In response to a question from a reporter last week, I made an insensitive comment that I deeply regret. I apologize.”
But responding to online criticism in the two days previous, he had tweeted, “The headline is neither a quote, nor accurate of anything I’ve ever said. Quite ridiculous in fact” and said he wouldn’t apologize “for being lied about.”
Now, MP Moore is an intelligent man and a fair review of his time in government will show that he has, among other things, managed to attract considerable federal funding to important Tri-City projects. But the in-between of the comment and the apology is deeply troubling: First, he made dishonest statements about his comments and, in doing so, impugned the radio reporter’s reputation; second, he apparently thought he could get away with it despite the fact his original comment was recorded.
In Port Moody, meanwhile, council held a special meeting Dec. 17 to approve funding to help operators of the burned Mossom Creek Hatchery. Good news.
But at the same special meeting — held with no community TV cameras or reporters present, and only a single citizen on hand — council voted itself sizable raises: more than 29% for councillors and more than 16% for the mayor.
What city council members should be paid is a topic for another day. The cynical way in which they set that pay last week, well out of the public eye, isn’t.
And we find it difficult to believe that in these media-savvy times, not one of Port Moody’s seven council members would step up and say something like: “I fully support these raises. But perhaps this vote, which will undoubtedly be controversial, should be held at a regular council meeting in the New Year, so we don’t look like we’ve done something to be ashamed of.”
Which, now, they do.