Letter: Plan is to follow up on promises

I plan on following through with the promises I made to the public in November, writes Councillor Julia Butler.

Over the past few months, Grand Forks City Council has received a few complaints directed towards myself and the mayor, suggesting us to be in a conflict of interest with regards to the water meter program and water rates committee.

As we both had a strong objection to the program during the campaign period, it isn’t surprising that proponents of the commodification of water should object to our involvement.

In January, our acting CAO, at an open public meeting, accused the mayor of being in a conflict of interest with regards to any discussions around water meters. Mayor Konrad denied such an interest and stated in the Gazette that it was “a witch hunt.”

Should these complaints be followed up with legal action it would prove costly for all involved. I take these accusations very seriously and as such, have retained the municipal law firm Baker and Baker at my own expense.  Their findings, in alignment with the Community Charter state,

“The conflict of interest provisions of the Community Charter would not apply to you.

“Section 104 (a) of the Community Charter provides that if an interest of the council member is a pecuniary interest in common with electors of the municipality generally; restrictions on participation in matters which otherwise might be considered a conflict do not apply because your interest would be deemed to be in common with the rest of the community.

*For a councillor to be precluded from participating in a matter before the council, there must be a pecuniary interest held by that particular member which is different in kind,- not merely in degree, from any pecuniary interest held by electors affected by the matter generally. In this respect, it is not the matter which is the key issue in determining whether there is an interest in common, but rather it is the issue of a pecuniary interest in the matter.

“In our opinion, you do not have, through your business, a pecuniary interest that is different in kind.”

To further remove myself from the perception of a conflict I have dissolved my personal yard care business and taken work with another company.

I plan on following through with the promises I made to the public in November, to help keep water affordable for all members of our community and to minimise unreasonable government intrusion into residents’ homes.

Julia Butler, Councillor, City of Grand Forks

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will use less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Bank of Canada to make interest rate decision today

Economists widely believe that based on the economic environment, it’s likely interest rates will rise today

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

Most Read