A staff report shows the options the SRD board considered in dealing with the Cortes Island Director’s alleged insider influence. Photo courtesy Youtube.

A staff report shows the options the SRD board considered in dealing with the Cortes Island Director’s alleged insider influence. Photo courtesy Youtube.

Cortes Island Director given ‘Statement of Expectations’ after insider influence allegations

Allegations of insider influence come from December 2020 emails

Strathcona Regional District Electoral Area B Director Noba Anderson was given a statement of expectations regarding communications with staff following allegations that she used her office for insider influence in a matter related to a rezoning of her home.

“The purpose of this statement is to provide a warning and notice of the Board’s expectations of Director conduct with Regional District staff members and other members of the Board,” the notice reads.

Anderson has not, however, been disqualified from holding office, which was one of the possibilities of the inquiry.

The board also asked that their legal representation read the letter in public session to ensure it is a matter of public record. A recording of that is available on Youtube.

A subsequent motion was made to ask the provincial government to implement an Integrity Commission.

“It is useful to help guide local governments in matters that are beyond their scope to handle,” said Director Andy Adams, who made the motion.

On Jan. 27, the board held a hearing on the matter where Anderson’s legal representation argued her side of the case. The board had received emails between SRD staff and Anderson about a rezoning application on a property of which she shares ownership, which could be considered Anderson exerting influence as an elected official over a staff decision. Anderson’s lawyer Matthew Voell argued that Anderson had made it clear she was acting “in her personal capacity,” and not as a director since she had used her personal email address during the conversations.

The notice to Anderson reads that “in cases where the influence or attempted influence is taking place between the elected official and an officer or employee of the local government or at a meeting of the local government as provided for in section 102(1)(a) (of the Community Charter), the person receiving the communication will undoubtedly know the person is an elected official. Therefore, the use of a personal email by itself cannot stand as immunity from section 102.”

It continues, saying that there are a number of instances where stating they are acting in their personal capacity would not violate that section of the Charter, but that those are more like paying taxes, purchasing dog licenses or applying for building permits.

“These are interactions where the staff member is not exercising discretion such that influence would make any difference to their decisions, recommendations or actions. However, a situation where an elected official says they are acting in their personal capacity but uses information they have gained as an elected official to persuade a staff member to make a certain decision or takes advantage of access to the staff member that others would not have, might well fall under section 102 of the Community Charter.”

The notice recommends Anderson make “careful consideration” of that section and that board members should seek advice from senior management before communicating with SRD staff on such matters.

“It is the opinion of the Board that in sending your email of December 17, 2020 to a member of staff you did not consider carefully section 102 of the Community Charter, the Code of Conduct or Regional District policy,” the letter reads. “The Board expects you to conduct yourself in accordance with this legislation, and the Regional District bylaws and policies. This information is provided so there can be no mistakes about what is expected to avoid future possible contraventions.”

RELATED: SRD holds hearing on potential disqualification of Cortes director

Cortes Island area director sues Strathcona Regional District



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverLocal NewsStrathcona Regional District

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(File photo)
Island conservation group says members targeted with harassment, vandalism

Police investigate pair of reports of mischief victims call pushback against conservation efforts

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read