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Flip-Flopping Director Matteus Clement Speaks Out On LNG (Video)

Dara QuastWe have been asking to hear from our Directors. Cobble Hill Director Matteus Clement has done us all the favour of sharing his inner thoughts on LNG in the Saanich Inlet and his role in the process.

In his lovely video he makes it clear that he does not understand the very serious political ramifications of his flip-flop.

The real issue here is not about a bunch of weak and ill-informed Directors who are running around trying to appease BC Liberal-friendly senior staff. It is far greater reaching than that.

Domestic gas use in our area is one thing but facilitating massive export deals that put our non-renewable resources and energy security at risk is quite another. LNG proponents like Steelhead are seeking social license.

As they move through their required process with First Nations, Provincial and Federal Governments, being able to hold up a zoning win from the local government is just another positive they can add to why they should get approval. Nipping this in the bud is exactly what we should be doing. Director Lori Iannidinardo knew that and acted in our best interests.

The export model of LNG is broken. Whatever was promised by the BC Liberals has been negotiated away. If we want to turn Vancouver Island into a giant bomb then the flip-flopping and accommodating Directors like Matteus Clement, Ian Morrison and Kerry Davis should continue on with their shameful course of action. It will of course be done in secret so we will probably never know the full extent of their actions.


34 comments to Flip-Flopping Director Matteus Clement Speaks Out On LNG (Video)

  • Carla Tweed

    This Director sais, the National Energy Board has to weigh in on this, well they approve everything! Look at this:

  • Lorne Godfry

    I for one am having trouble with implicating two very ill equipped senior staff in all of this. Lets face it, the best and brightest arent drawn to government work, they are either in the private sector or business people. (apologies if I have offended hard working government workers here).

    The fact is, they are compensated very well and we expect them provide us with a level of service above and beyond the junior government joe. In essence, the general managers and CAO MUST be above board (pun intended) at all times.

    Unfortunately for the time being, we are stuck in this controversy that should never have occurred in the first place. The press releases from individual Directors have come up extremely short and only provides us with more suspicion.

  • Brian Wah

    Dont agree with anything Clements sais-dont agree with two staffers doing a good job, dont agree with his flip flopping(disgusting) and I certainly will not be voting for him.

    What a woos

  • Karl Giesbrechyt

    Director Clements mentions that the DFO, National Energy Board and other government jurisditions will weigh in on LNG. He is absolutely right. These are the same government organizations that have approved controversial pipelines and atlantic salmon aquaculture in our pacific waters. Clements then mentions that the CVRD has just a small part to play as a local government.


  • Mia Forte

    I found this video to be an insult to my intelligence and to the electorates intelligence.

    He almost pleads with us to be patient and trust the process. He is asking us to see the unanimous vote as a mistake (part of process) and agree with him that staff are doing a fine job. (in his video he states staff met with LNG and CAO stated Blackwell did not)

    Maybe Ill emigrate to North Korea where I can believe everything my “Dear leader” presents.

  • taxpayer 3

    Director Clements would have us believe that we should respect the process in order to go forward credibly on any future application with LNG he also states that staff are doing a great job.

    Director Clements, if in fact you do respect the process then why are you questioning the votes and your own vote against LNG? We the electorate are concerned that staff and now some directors, including you are in fact disrespecting the unanimous vote and instead wishing you could go back in time and rescind it.

    I can tell you that the electorate respects the process(unanimous vote) So I will turn this over to you- side with us and take a stand.

  • Aaron metcalf

    Thank you for this “reaching out video.” It truly was appreciated.

    You have defended staff and for this you should be commended. I am thoroughly confused , however. In your video you mention that staff did in fact speak with LNG but your CAO stated that Mr. Blackwell did in fact NOT speak with LNG.

    This conflict in information has added a bit of fuel to the fire that is already consuming the credibility of the CVRD. Can you please tell us if the CAO is in fact being truthful? Someone here is obviously not stating the truth over a staff conversation with LNG.

  • Peter Scott

    I live in Cobble Hill and I am getting tired of seeing all these warm and fuzzy comments about nice Director Clements sharing his thoughts and feelings. He states he wants to take his vote back! That is a flip-flop. Plan and simple. He is an embarrassment to himself and to those of us who live in Cobble Hill. For a Director that has only been in office for a little over a year his list of idiotic decisions and statements should cause him so much shame that he puts us all out of our misery and resign. That of course would take some sort of personal fortitude and integrity and he sure has not shown any of that.

    • Aaron metcalf

      Hi Peter,

      Someone isnt telling the truth about a meeting between the CVRD and LNG. The CAO stated publicly to the press that NO STAFF SPOKE WITH LNG. Director Clements stated that staff did in fact speak with LNG.So, who isnt telling the truth and why?

      Richards Hughes sais shoes are dropping and I had no idea how bad it would get.

      This video only confirms to the electorate that someone at the CVRD isnt telling the truth.

      • Frank Lee Appalled in Williams Lake

        If I was a betting man, I would put the odds that the CAO is lying. in Williams Lake, during his short tenure as CAO here, he was known as Lyin’ Brian. he never let the facts get in the way of what came out of his mouth. he was big on bulls*** baffling brains and libel chill against his detractors. Keep up the great work, Richard. Brian left such an indelible mark of incompetetence and arrogance in WL that half of the puddle is watching your blog and keeping the other half informed. Onward!

    • Sandy Waters


      The chair should step down and the senior staffers should be demoted or let go.

    • graemm

      Hey Peter; talking about taking a vote back, I live in Cobble Hill and I too would like to take my vote back. Only my vote was a vote for Clement!

  • Aaron metcalf

    The flip flop term is used so often now and it really doesnt speak to the complexities of local government politics and in particular the issue we are discussing on this blog.

    Flip flop minimizes the issue. Lets be clear here, its very black and white; The Directors voted unanimously and from what Ive heard and read, they did so credibly because they represent the vast majority of the electorate. Its the aftermath of the vote that concerns many of us and it is making provincial news and probably before long national news. Shawnigan has made it to the acclaimed cbc investigative reporting show W5 – LNG fiasco will arrive their shortly I,m sure. Im not trivializing Shawnigan but it is a smaller issue compared to whats happening at the CVRD/LNG controversy.

    Unanimous votes are carried on controversial issues all the time. Many examples of Directors asserting the electorates desires can be found in BC and across Canada for that matter.

    Unfortunately staff have been scared off by the LNG correspondence and according to some of the comments on this blog, staff have spread their phobia to the Directors.

    LNG will not go away, they have shareholders to answer to and they are representing them very very well. But Directors have the electorate to answer to and I expect them to represent them just as well if not better than LNG to its shareholders.

    You dont see LNG staff scrambling to change its mind on its potential proposal because of the CVRD unanimous vote. I expect CVRD staff to have the strength to be just as bold as LNG staff.

    Dont you?

    • We are having issues with the interfering CAO Carruthers and Planning GM Blackwell. The rest of the staff are fine for the most part.

      • taxpayer 3

        The video, although meant to be positive was seen by many of us to be condescending to the extreme. To offer up a unanimous vote as a mistake and then to use a false analogy re: a soda company was quite frankly, insulting to my intelligence.

  • Don Maroc

    Seems a lot of people are getting their feet tangled up here. First of all the term “flip-flop” usually means that my opponent has changed positions on an issue of contention, probably for some political advantage. If someone on my side of the issue takes the same action it would be because of having an open mind and carefully studying all the developing “facts” on the case.

    The current issue at the CVRD, being strongly fought by the anti-Saanich Inlet LNG residents, favours and encourages rights and duties of elected officials to make public their opinions. When Cobble Hill Director Clement takes to the social internet makes states his opinion he is accused by some of flip-flopping.

    Shouldn’t his constituents applaud Clement for publicly offering his opinion, whether they agree with him or not. Perhaps it would be enlightening if other members of the CVRD Board make public their opinions.

    Is Director Clement biased? Of course he is biased, so are you and so am I. From my standpoint I thank Director Clement for telling me where he stands. I don’t agree with him but he is setting a good example for the elected CVRD directors.

    And finally, very important in this particular case none of us should be interested in the biased opinions of the salaried senior staff at the CVRD. Their jobs, for which they are very well paid, are to provide, when asked, information and facts. It is for the elected directors to make the evaluations and decisions.

    • Karl Fan

      I agree, Im pleased he came forward with his lengthy commentary. he truly is concerned-however I do not agree with him.

      I am in fact interested in the biased opinions of the salaried senior staff as it seems they are giving out misguided advice. This is an important issue and requires professionalism at its finest. Staff have gone the extra step to hire a lawyer and send it off to the Directors. It may or may not be their place to do so

    • Marilyn Venturi

      I’m confused by your second sentence, Don. I interpret Director Clement’s change of heart as a very definite “flip-flop”. I suspect that the political advantage he was seeking was with staff.

  • Connie Buckner

    Opportunism eventually turns them all. I fear that it will end the political career of each one of them. Enjoy your term as it will most likely be your last.

    • Karl Fan

      Absolutely Connie, LNG is a game changer-noone in the electorate wants them here and we expect our Directors to stand their ground. Its appalling that staff have attempted to enter into the political arena. They need to stay out of it, otherwise, they will be the reason for the demise of the soft backbones of some of the Directors.

      make no mistake, LNG will be an election issue, the Directors need to be aware that the electorate will remember this.

  • Don Skerik

    I can see Clement and Morrison flip flopping but not about the so called “Green” Davis. Kinda leaves the Green Party in a tough spot.
    Clement didn’t get my vote to begin with and he sure won’t get next time if this is who he really is.

  • P walker

    His video was sincere and at least he said something, unfortunately what we are hearing from him makes us even more suspicious

  • M. Parkin

    “If we are going to move forward in that direction and oppose LNG that we should do it in a meaningful way..that has a higher likelihood of results.” What in the HELL is he talking about? I got about four minutes into the video and then simply could not listen to his drivel any more.

    Incidentally, the discussion about Economic Development that preceded the unanimous resolution was certainly not heated. If he thinks THAT was heated, he has a number of surprises coming his way in the very near future. He will find out what heated discussion truly is. Your constituents will not be forgetting this any time soon, Matteus. Be sure to keep your day job.

    • Lorne Godfry

      If it wasnt for this LNG BS we would all be speaking to the economic development farse. What a joke, over 500 000 of our money going into this and they have no idea what to do-should we hire inside, outside, should we hire a consultant and pay him thousands of dollars to give us an answer and then flip flop on that as well?

      God, if I ran my household like these guys run their departments I would be asking for spare change on the streets

  • taxpayer 3

    Great video, but there are many many councils that have taken a stand and voted unanimously against developments and staff stayed out of it. Its a big issue, the ball was fumbled, good explanation but we are still concerned.

  • mat sampson

    I for one will be ther and will be questioning blackwell if he met with lng.

  • Kevin Logan

    My my….. rookies eh?

    So first off, Matteus thinks consultation with the LNG proponents is required and therefor he his going to flip flop on his anti LNG vote.

    “Its Good form to at least talk to your neighbours,” he says.

    Unbelievably he then goes on to say that indeed the LNG proponents have been in consultation about the project and potential rezoning with the CVRD.

    So which is it? Has the CVRD ” talked to their neighbours” or not?

    It seems he is stating that it was just backroom hacks from the CVRD and Steelhead corporate types that have been talking about the project without the knowledge of the board, Caruthers (who earlier stated no staff meetings have occurred with the proponent) Blackwell etc…..this is very thin ice they are on.

    Moreover why would such a meeting occur between the CVRD and the proponent without the partners of Steelhead in the proposed project, the Malahat Nation?

    You cannot publicly claim that you need to “speak to your neighbours,” after you have already privately spoke to them and left out all the relevant stakeholders from those talks.

    Matteus, here is some free advice. Don’t be doing damage control for staff and their malfeasance, its the quickest way to the political grave.

    I could go on as this whole blurb is so riddled with contradictions of this sort and outright falsehoods, that I believe it is very possible this Director just caught his own political death on tape.

  • Marilyn Venturi

    Kudos to Directors Clement and Davis for publicly stating their positions. I look forward to Director Morrison and others doing the same. What worries me most is that these positions are not shared by their constituents or in keeping with their OCPs. The flip-flops seem designed to make them look reasonable and knowledgeable when in fact they don’t understand the ramifications you have so eloquently stated. Did these directors consult their constituents (town hall meetings are often used) PRIOR to these statements? Director Clement is inviting comment AFTER his flip-flop. The consequences are potentially devastating for us all.

    • Harry Donaldson

      The Letter penned by LNG essentially asks the electorate to back off.The Board represents the electorate. So far , it seems, two Directors have decided to backtrack from the unanimous vote, I suggest they have the right to do so but at their peril.

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