Attacks on Courtenay councillors commonsensical

Dear editor,

Here it is not even the end of January 2014 and the Common Sense Party, or whatever form it will take this time, is at it already.

I refer to the letter by Mr. Findlay in the Jan. 21 issue attacking Courtenay City Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard for her support of Coun. Doug Hillian’s motion that attempts to ensure Maple Pool residents will not be evicted, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing court case.

Mr. Findlay, if he has a problem with the City’s position on the zoning of the Maple Pool campsite and the enforcement of those zoning bylaws, should take it up with the council as a whole.

After all the last time I checked, Courtenay council had a majority of representatives that are of the conservative persuasion and City council acted by majority vote to try and get the Maple Pool owners to abide by those zoning bylaws.

The intent of this attack was not really about Maple Pool. It was to target the two more progressive representatives on council, as they were targeted by the Common Sense Party last election.

I say this because Mr. Findlay singles out these two people for abuse and contrary to his characterization of Ms. Leonard as “misguided and heartless,” Couns. Leonard and Hillian have been at the forefront as advocates for all the homeless in the Comox Valley, including those people at risk at Maple Pool.

The Ad Hoc Emergency Resource Organization (AHERO) from Day One took the position that the City would and should be responsible for any housing of people who may be displaced from Maple Pool. Early on, Couns. Leonard and Hillian attempted to facilitate a resolution to the problem.

Once a legal case was adopted, discussion on council became an in-camera discussion. Couns. Hillian and Leonard, along with the other members of council, with one exception, abided by the law that states discussion and votes in camera are not be publicly discussed.

I do agree with one thing in Mr. Findlay’s letter.

I think in-camera meetings are overused by this, and previous, councils. But to demand someone disclose confidential information is to either advocate that they break the Community Charters Act, which is irresponsible, or to attack them, knowing the person cannot respond, which is cowardly.

The issue of homelessness and affordable housing in the Valley needs a common and committed effort.

Nasty attacks on councillors who are worthy advocates on those issues will help neither the homeless nor Courtenay council.

Brian Charlton,

Comox Valley


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