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qathet Regional District director criticizes censure report

Mark Gisborne will defend himself at upcoming meeting
OPPOSING VIEWPOINT: qathet Regional District Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne provided a written statement about an initiative to censure and sanction him after a special meeting of the regional district board called for the purpose of considering censure and sanction.

qathet Regional District (qRD) Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne is critical of an initiative to censure and sanction him for comments made at a planning committee meeting in November 2021.

In a written statement sent to the Peak following a special qRD meeting on January 6 to look into censuring and sanctioning him, Gisborne stated that as he understands it, he was not allowed to defend himself at the special meeting as the accused.

“I will be given that opportunity at the second board meeting later this month,” stated Gisborne. “It is at that time I will be allowed to put forward my submissions in response to these allegations. That being said, I am still allowed to participate as a member of this assembly, not as the accused, so I was surprised that the board did not even choose to receive the report.”

Gisborne said he believes the chair’s report is filled with false information, assumed intent, and is a personal attack from the chair against a fellow director.

“This chair’s report violates the code of conduct, and even violates the expectations set by the chair within the report,” stated Gisborne. “The first rule of the code of conduct is constantly violated at my expense. Specifically, ‘members shall not interrupt or act in any way that could interfere with another member’s right to address matters before the assembly.’”

Gisborne stated that regardless of how many times he points this out, no action is taken. Gisborne stated that this behaviour has become normalized by the chair, with the support of other members of this assembly.

“I expressed concern when we adopted the code of conduct that it could be weaponized by the majority to silence the minority,” stated Gisborne. “It is reasonable to think in certain cases the board needs to state the standard of expected conduct, but it is a power to be exercised with great care and great discretion. Far too easily, this could turn into an abuse of process for cheap political gain, and any board that sets out in this direction must be careful in what it is doing."