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CVRD Senior Staff Creating Chaotic Dysfunction Over Decision To Oppose LNG In Cowichan

Richard 'Hub' HughesLast Wednesday’s unanimous endorsement of the motion opposing LNG facilities from establishing anywhere in the CVRD was a high point seldom reached by the elected folks at the CVRD Board Tables.

Understand however that the CAO Brian Carruthers and Planning General Manager Ross Blackwell are mad as hatters having watched their CVRD Directors seize the moment and provide political direction without their guidance or say so. That refreshing diversion from our normally obedient politicians is now under fire.

Brian Carruthers

Brian Carruthers

In a fit of pique that kicked in two days after the resolution against LNG had passed they told elected Director Lori Iannidinardo that they were in real trouble legally and were off to get a legal opinion on the legality of the motion.

Obviously that specious claim would not fly as I am sure that if they did ask lawyers they would have been told that opinions of the nature expressed in the motion were very much in the domain of political representatives.

CAO Carruthers complained that they should have been asked for guidance if the Directors wanted to do something of that nature.

In a display reminiscent of a distraught “Sir Humphrey’ from the British sit-com Yes Minister it seems Carruthers and Blackwell have lost their grip.

They desperately want to regain their control of the politicians, our elected representatives. This is very much a question of who is running the show. The politicians should be, but they are now engaged in a tussle of consequence.

CVRD Director - Lori Iannidinardo

CVRD Director – Lori Iannidinardo

Understand that we are under attack by the highly skilled and deceptive front men operating under the Steelhead LNG banner who have disrupted and divided the Malahat Nation with their seductive lobbying efforts and promises of jobs and wealth.

I see that they have already ingratiated themselves with the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring the Black Tie Awards and such. That is disturbing.

They have landed in our most beautiful corner of the world fronting for what looks suspiciously like New York based hedge fund investors, who may well be playing a ‘long game’ approach to gain environmental certificates that they could sit on until the market improves which may or may not occur.

This massive LNG proposal would inalterably destroy the Saanich Inlet and threaten marine life and recreational enjoyment of Southern Vancouver Island and of course the Gulf Islands where the massive undersea pipeline would disrupt marine life, especially for the whale population. Giant LNG Tankers would disrupt marine and ferry traffic.

Real Estate values would plummet throughout the Southern Island especially for ocean view and ocean front properties on both sides of the peninsula if this is not stopped.

It is imperative that our elected officials stand their ground and dispel any further attempts to erode their stature and standing.

Steelhead LNG is underplaying the downsides and leaving folks with the impression that this project is at the early stages and that they will consult and cooperate with the community as they slowly proceed. Meanwhile they are in high gear seeking NEB approval and provincially of course Christy Clark would sell us out in a heartbeat for anything LNG.

i_smell_a_rat_1696285Remember what happened when the CVRD fiddled and stalled about over the South Island Aggregates application to dump 5 million tonnes of contaminated soils into the Shawnigan Watershed.

They failed miserably and the results could well turn catastrophic if court cases now in play are not successful.  It appears that much damage has already been inflicted on the lake and creek from unconfined runoff.

We must not be caught again. The unanimous motion to oppose LNG is under  threat. It must stand.

I smell a rat!


14 comments to CVRD Senior Staff Creating Chaotic Dysfunction Over Decision To Oppose LNG In Cowichan

  • Don Skerik

    Richard, your article suggests that maybe bureaucrats might not have actually got a legal opinion. Would be nice to know for sure. Would a FOI request answer that question?

  • Fiona nelson

    I’ve seen controversy in local government jurisdictions, to the point where staff were culled and old politicians were replaced at election time. More often than not, issues resolved themselves thanks to new recruits.
    Not so this time. Staff have alienated the electorate by making poor decisions, spending our taxes in court and ducking and cover as their mantra. In private industry these high paid managers would be fired by the shareholders. Unfortunately, even though we honorably pay our taxes every year we don’t necessarily get a high return in our investment. These are serious land use mistakes. As a ” shareholder” I want a new recruitment of land use managers looking after my investment.

    • Rob Scurry

      Every local government has their issues but mostly are contained, resolved, put to rest or brought to action. The bees nest is usually reserved for the committee and board rooms.

      Unfortunately, the issues in our region seem to sting the electorate time and time again. Makes you wonder whos setting policy at the CVRD. There is no excuse for the Shawnigan fiasco- yes it happened but it should not be escalating-people arrested-good solid citizens , arrested and assaulted! Why has this continued?

      LNG, I believe, exposed us to the why of Shawnigan. Poor policy directives or poor judgement from the CVRD – more stinging bees and the electorate is attempting to stop it.

      These are all land use matters that require expertise in engagement. I think I just answered my own question, I know now why Shawnigan continues to escalate

  • Lavonne Huneck

    How can you liquefy natural gas without the gas? We rejected the pipeline when it was called GSX and nothing has changed. Is this another ploy from the same players with different names and a different colour game board?

    After the amateur way administrative staff have handled their land use authority (an area that is well within the level of expertise for which they were hired),any “guidance” in an area over which they do not have training would undoubtedly need reliable references. In other words, check with the lawyers before you threaten elected officials.

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the people charged with the responsibility of running our government and it appears I am not alone.

    • I assure you that you are not alone. A jam packed Mill Bay League Hall of standing room only concerned residents demonstrated their opposition to this or any other LNG facility in the area, just last night.CVRD Directors Kerry Davis, Matteus Clement and Lori Iannidinardo were also there. I wonder if Kerry gets it yet or has Ross Blackwell co-opted him completely?

      • Dara Quast

        It is my understanding that Kerry Davis DOES NOT GET IT!!!! He was overheard NOT GETTING IT!

        The people of Mill Bay need to make sure that their Director understands that they support the motion made by Director Iannidinardo and unanimously supported by the rest of the Board and they do not support him changing his vote or participating in some backroom shenanigans with the staff.

        • Patrick walls

          Noone gets it, I suppose. I am so incredibly disappointed with this right now. We all have long memories, this will haunt them come next election.

      • Patrick walls

        So far , I have decided who I won’t be voting for next election. If these directors continue to state their peace based on an unelected staff member then I will be asking for someone who has the leadership to listen to the electorate NOT some over paid manager

      • Bev Sanderson

        Im not going to blame a senior manager for the incredible bs that is occurring in our region. Could it be possible that one manager can yield that mush influence? I doubt it and if he can hes incredibly convincing or the ears to his mouth are incredibly stupid.

        Either way, dear friends our region is in turmoil, once again and no-one seems to be able to stop it anytime soon.

        Maybe if we gave them more money? They would feel a need to earn it.


  • Keith A. Williams

    Speaking of pandering; the Malahat could put an end to this environmental lunacy today. Folks on this blog seem reluctant to ever refer to the Malahat as anything but hapless victims. That, fellow concerned citizens, is pandering. Pure and simple.

    • Where have you seen the Malahat (Nation) referred to as hapless victims?

      How are they any more hapless than residents of the CVRD?

      They, like us have an elected government to represent them and conduct their affairs.

      It appears that a CVRD rezoning would be needed for the proposal to proceed. That decision would be made by the CVRD elected politicians, for better or worse.

      The current position of the CVRD Board is one of opposition to any LNG facilities being located within the CVRD boundaries.

      • Keith A. Williams

        For a quick but by no means comprehensive refresher/reminder, look back at your own Post and your subsequent comment(s) of August 26, 2015.

  • Debbie Yates

    There seems to be a pandering to the proponents here. I for one will not stand for it. property values are reaching low levels in Shawnigan and LNG presence will do the same for those of us who have any ocean view.

    We have to write our elected representatives to ensure they represent US! I have a big problem with staff, whom I never met, offering political advice to politicians in closed door meetings.

    I think we should demand a community forum – and get to the bottom of this. I am soooo soo tired of high paid staff messing in the electorates business. They are doing so much damage to our beautiful region. Between the two staff members you mention in your post-they are probably getting paid over 400 000 between the two of them – for what?

    We need a press release from the CVRD – we need to be informed!!!

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