Mayor calls in RCMP to Remove Speaker at Public Meeting

The Mayor called in the RCMP once again at last night’s City Council meeting when he was upset with the public statement made by this senior. The Mayor and developer (who sits on the OCP Committee himself) and Lynne Sinclair objected to the statement. No White Rock citizens in the audience found the remarks out of line and supported Margaret Woods. Audience members questioned Mr. Baldwin’s demand that Margaret apologize or leave. Mr. Baldwin refused to answer questions from the audience about what specific words he objected to.

After an extended recess in which the Mayor waited for Margaret Woods to leave after having been denied an opportunity to speak further to the matter, the Mayor then instructed staff to call in the RCMP to remove Ms. Woods, and two constables arrived quickly.

RCMP Arrive on Mayor Baldwin's Orders    RCMP Arrive on Mayor Baldwin's Orders to Access the Situation

To the credit of the RCMP constables, they refused the Mayor’s request to remove Margaret Woods. She had said nothing wrong and had the right to state her opinion in a public meeting.

Mayor Baldwin was visibly upset during the Sept 28 City Council public meeting when Ms. Woods stood her ground to excercise her right to her opinion during the public hearing on a proposed Monster Home on Marine Drive, and the Police refused to take action against a member of the public that had done nothing wrong. With the unexpected recess over, the council meeting continued without incident or further drama. Mayor Visibly Upset After RCMP Refused to Take Action

Kudo’s to Margaret Woods for standing up for our right to stating a personal opinion at a City Council Public Meeting, and Kudo’s to the RCMP for coming so quickly and handling the whole mess so professionally!

White Rock can be proud of our citizens and of our RCMP.
Unfortunately, the Mayor’s behaviour was not something to be proud of. Mayor Baldwin should apologize to Ms. Woods and to the citizens of White Rock for his rash and bullying behaviour towards a member of the public. As least that is our opinion. What’s yours?

So what was all the fuss about?

As a quick summary: Margaret questioned why a Western Red Cedar on the property was being preserved. Given the already poor track record of clear cutting trees in White Rock by both developers and the City of White Rock, was the Western Red Cedar actually going to be protected, or was it just being preserved during the approval process as an excuse to build up the ground level by an additional 7 feet, thus giving the owner an additional 7 feet of improved view beyond what current zoning allows?

That sounds like a valid question and concern expressed by a citizen of White Rock during a public meeting on the proposed 12000 sq-ft home on Marine Drive overlooking the tracks. Other concerns expressed that night included concerns with the large amount that the house and pool were set back towards the slope and whether an assessment had been made on excess loading on the slope and landslide risk. I also mentioned that in 2013, Mayor and Council made maximum heights relative to Natural Historical land heights in Omnibus Bylaw 2000, and thus even if the developer added 7 feet of height to his property to protect the tree, this does not allow him an additional 7 feet in height according to the Mayor’s own bylaw.

Hope that helps. This is paraphrasing from the meeting. May have missed or misinterpreted something. The video from the City Council meeting is the most accurate way to hear what was said.

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