Choosing how to mark a ballot in the upcoming municipal elections became clearer at the September 8 meeting of Sooke council. The solution is to simply ignore the names Bev Berger (if she chooses to run), Herb Haldane, Rick Kasper, and Kevin Pearson. These four members of the current council continue to vote in favour of an illegal activity, and in clear violation of Sooke Zoning Bylaw 600, in the matter of the transfer station on Idlemore Road.
The issue is not whether Sooke needs such a facility, or whether the Idlemore site is the appropriate place for the facility. The issue is entirely the fact that these four members of Sooke council have no respect for the rule of law, that they are prepared to put the entire governance power of our community in jeopardy, and that they will do whatever is needed to get the result they favour.
We have heard a litany of nonsensical reasons in support of their votes. Councillors Pearson and Berger tell us they are confused; that there are insufficient definitions in the Zoning Bylaw; that the Bylaw needs to be cleaned up; that it tells what is allowed, but not what is not allowed. At the top of this list, is a gem from Councillor Berger, wherein she states her belief that if the earlier motion is rescinded as per the direction from Mayor Milne, ‘we will never clean up the Bylaw.’ I leave the depth of that thought for evaluation by others. Critical thinkers should be able to discern, that where permitted uses are stated, all others uses are not permitted!
While Councillor Kasper was absent from the meeting, (perhaps he was ill), he has previously voted in favour, and was instrumental as acting mayor, in getting the issue onto a February agenda in the absence of Mayor Milne. Councillor Haldane continues to rail on the ambiguity of the zoning bylaw, and stated his concern that it allows and disallows things throughout. Once again, the depth of that thought rests with the reader.
The most serious matter is, of course, the vote in conflict with a district bylaw. It sets a precedent, and ties the hands of a governing body to do the job they were elected to do. Why should anyone go through the required process, pay the required fees, and receive approval in an orderly manner, when they can simply find enough votes at the table to do whatever they wish. Anarchy anyone?
Clearly these are four councillors who either do not respect the rule of law, or are prepared to vote when they admittedly are confused, or as Councillor Berger stated ‘I don’t care how we get to the decision.’ Aren’t videos wonderful. Remember that two of these councillors are aiming at the mayor’s chair.
Value your vote!