It is anti-bullying day.
What better day to discuss bullying done by City Council and the Mayor?
I was very disappointed during Monday night’s City Council meeting to see Mayor Baldwin shutdown legitimate questions by Mr. Dennis Lypka during question period. I like Mayor Baldwin and voted for him during the last election. I would not do that again. Has he forgotten that his role is to listen to residents, no matter how uncomfortable those questions may be for City Council to hear?
Kudos to Councillor Alan Campbell and Helen Fathers who raised some excellent points about the proposal and why they opposed it. The current plan needlessly impacts neighbours and deviates from the original plan which would have provided more patio space and green space for Evergreen patients, while also protecting the old growth trees and not impact views for neighbouring properties. This proposal is flawed and not in the best interest of the patients or nearby residents.
Councillor Helen Fathers and Alan Campbell stood by residents and patients by voting against this change to the OCP. I will vote for them. The others including the Mayor voted for this very flawed plan that eliminates outdoor patio space for patients, destroys old growth trees and residents views in the Belaire. All to save some money for the developer while cost residents millions in property values. Patients and Residents need to come first, not developers. We need a change at City Hall this November. Please vote for a Council that puts residents first, not developers.
Here are the questions that Mr. Lypka wanted to ask Council in his own words. If you want answers to these questions, I suggest you email Mayor Baldwin and City Hall and demand answers.
1) What analysis did City Staff and Council do of the affects and impacts that the Evergreen Project would have on adjacent homeowners and on the Community before approving Bylaw No. 2045?
2) If an analysis was done, when will that analysis be made available to the Public?
3) If no analysis was done, can Council please explain how it can adopt Bylaw No. 2045 and still carry out its duty to good governance for the benefit and well-being of the community?
4) City Staff and Council have been aware since November of the many process failures and defects associated with the Evergreen Project, all of which have been advantageous to the Developer. Can Council please explain why they have failed to ensure that these failures and defects were promptly addressed?
5) Bylaw No. 2045 contains known errors, defects and inconsistencies which both City Staff and Council have been made aware of in writing for weeks. Can Council please explain why they would ignore these facts and not correct the proposed Bylaw before voting to approve Bylaw No. 2045?
6) The Director of the Planning & Development Services City Staff that Council relied upon for the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 was dismissed for cause in January 2014. Some of the dismissed Director’s work such as the Medicinal Marijuana Zoning was held back in the approval process for further review. Can Council please advise why the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 were not similarly held back for further review?
Dennis had this to say after being shut down during Question Period:
If these questions and the other proper questions that other citizens tried to ask last night somehow made Council feel uncomfortable, that is unfortunate. But Council’s personal discomfort is not sufficient justification to deny citizens their right for an opportunity to speak and refuse to allow the questions to be addressed to Council at Question Period under the terms of Bylaw No. 1860. Remember, as I tried to remind Council last night, Question Period has been the only time when citizens have ever been allowed to ask Council any questions whatsoever about the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045. Two (2) minutes each of questioning from a few citizens to Council with the cameras turned off is hardly any sort of gruelling inquisition or nefarious, in depth second guessing of Council’s decision. But Council’s actions in this regard are consistent with the City’s pattern in its handling of the Evergreen Project since the Evergreen project was first brought to public light in late October of 2013. Once more, this is just another paving stone in the long, bumpy, bumpy road that is the history of the Evergreen Project.
And let’s not forget about the White Rock Muffler site development where hundreds of residents voiced concerns. During that council meeting, the Mayor told residents who had concerns that he was the Boss, and that if residents did not like it, then there was an election coming in 2014 and residents could express their views then. That is not good enough Mr. Baldwin. We expect more from our Mayor. Let’s remind the bullies at City Hall about that in November on election day.