Saanich’s chief electoral officer has asked the slate United for Saanich headed by Mayor Richard Atwell to “immediately” cease distribution of this election brochure.

District of Saanich tells mayor’s slate to stop flyer distribution

Saanich’s chief election officer says United for Slate brochure may confuse voters

Saanich’s chief electoral officer has asked the slate headed by Saanich’s mayor to “immediately” discontinue the distribution of a brochure because voters may confuse it with a municipal document, but Mayor Richard Atwell said the document looks nothing like a Saanich document.

“Please note that this document may be perceived as being issued by the District of Saanich,” said Angila Bains, Saanich’s chief election officer in a letter to United for Saanich. “This notice is for United for Saanich and its candidates/official agents to discontinue the distribution immediately. As previously discussed with you all, the District of Saanich does not endorse any candidates nor does it allow for Saanich corporate branding in any candidate election materials.”

RELATED: Documents contradict Saanich Mayor Atwell in legal dispute with Fred Haynes

RELATED: Saanich Mayor insists he never served as director of Amalgamation Yes

This cease-and-desist order from Saanich’s chief election officer to an electoral group led by Saanich’s chief elected officials marks another turn in a turbulent election campaign that has included plenty of public recriminations and sniping.

RELATED: Saanich mayoral candidates clash during debate

A lawyer representing Atwell earlier this year sent a cease-and-desist letter to the campaign of his rival Coun. Fred Haynes, claiming that Haynes’ campaign literature misrepresented Atwell’s association with Amalgamation Yes. Atwell now finds himself faced with a similar charge about misleading the public.

Atwell said the charge from the District is vague.

“The election officer has not stated with any specific examples what the problems are,” he said, noting that the brochure does not feature the municipality’s logo, contact information, or colour scheme as part of its branding.

“I don’t think a reasonable person would come to the same conclusion,” he said, adding that he is still waiting for District to explain its specific reasons.

The document bears the title of Saanich Municipal Election Handbook and urges voters to elected United for Saanich headed by Atwell. Its membership also includes incumbent Coun. Karen Harper, and three non-incumbent candidates: Kathleen Burton, executive director of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary; Ian Jessop, a former political spokesperson and broadcaster; and Cory Montgomery, a local businessman.

The guide — whose blue colour scheme matches the slate’s election signage that appears in Saanich — offers personal details about the slate’s five members and policies that they promise to promote in office in urging voters to elect the slate. A survey of the brochure found no markings that reference the District of Saanich.

Atwell, who earlier said he is “proud to run” with this “highly qualified group,” has consistently defended the slate as a necessity. “We cannot afford a repeat of the past, where we simply decide, we are going to pick a random assortment of people, and hope that it works out,” said Atwell last month, during the first all-candidates’ forum. He has made a similar point at other forums.

RELATED: Saanich group wants to break mayor’s slate

The document also includes a picture that shows the slate in an informal setting, and urges voters to vote for the creation of a citizens’ assembly to study the proposed amalgamation of Saanich and Victoria.

Saanich issued the order after receiving complaints from the public last week.

“A flyer was delivered to my home in Saanich last Friday, Oct. 5th. (see attached),” read one such letter of complaint. “I find it deliberately and purposefully misrepresentative, insofar as on first glance it appears to be a publication from the Municipality of Saanich, and purports to be an ‘official’ election handbook. On reading, it turns out to be nothing of the kind, as it only presents the options put forward by the incumbent Mayor and his cabal. I believe that the current [mayor] is deliberately misrepresenting ‘United for Saanich’ as officially sanctioned by the Municipality of Saanich.”

The brochure has also drawn attention on social media.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Five significant pieces of Oak Bay history that went up in smoke

A look at some of the iconic Oak Bay buildings leveled by fire

Flat Earth Society alive and well in climate change deniers

Nine of the ten hottest global years on record have occurred since the year 2000

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

Island woman seeks assisted dying law changes for Alzheimer patients

Family’s ordeal has spurred a petition to Parliament

Qualicum Beach gaming company awarded virtual reality game of the year

Cloudhead Games lauded as it teases new project with ‘industry giant’

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read