qathet Regional District’s committee of the whole has voted to receive correspondence regarding additional residences on agricultural land reserve (ALR) property.
At the March 12 committee meeting, directors received an email in the agenda package from Alan Rebane, to the provincial minister of agriculture, and copied to regional district chair Patrick Brabazon, regarding secondary residences on Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne’s property. Rebane, in his email, made allegations about the property not being in compliance with the ALR. A motion was made by the committee to receive the correspondence.
Gisborne said the matter had been brought forward by chief administrative officer Al Radke and Brabazon and he wondered why it was not going through the regional district’s complaints policy.
Brabazon said this was correspondence to the provincial government, copied to the chair of the regional board, so therefore, it’s official correspondence and was dealt with as such.
Gisborne said the correspondence appears to be a personal and political attack against him.
Committee chair Sandy McCormick, Electoral Area D director, said the motion on the table was to receive the correspondence, so she asked him to focus on that during his discussion.
Gisborne said he did not think the committee should receive the correspondence because he did not think it was appropriate, based on the information that has been provided.
“If you give me time I will go through the issues with the correspondence,” said Gisborne.
He said the regional district’s general complaints policy states that any complaints should be sent to the appropriate members of staff in the appropriate department.
Brabazon called a point of order to limit the discussion, saying the complaint was to the provincial government, not to the regional district, and it was on the committee of the whole agenda because it was directly pointed out to the government that is was copied to the chair of the regional district, thereby becoming an official piece of correspondence.
McCormick said she would uphold that point of order.
Gisborne said he disagreed with Brabazon’s statement about the point of order because the email was circulated to all of the members of the agricultural advisory committee, whereupon McCormick said if Gisborne wished to challenge the chair on the point of order, he was welcome to do so.
Gisborne said he wanted to challenge the chair.
McCormick said the vote on the challenge was: should Gisborne’s appeal to the chair’s ruling be upheld? The committee did not uphold the appeal, so the point of order stood.
Gisborne then said he does not believe the committee should receive the correspondence.
Brabazon said the issue of receiving a piece of correspondence does not mean the committee agrees with the correspondence and it does not deny the correspondence.
“We don’t pass judgment on the quality of the facts, or lack of, in the document,” said Brabazon. “The complaint has gone to the provincial government.
“If any of us have troubles with a writer of a letter that we have received, then it’s up to the individual director to handle that with the body involved.”
The committee voted to receive the letter, with Gisborne opposed.