Ottawa trip still not in cards after mayor’s apology

An apology from Mayor John Douglas wasn’t enough to persuade his council to reconsider letting him go to Ottawa.

An apology from Mayor John Douglas wasn’t enough to persuade his council to reconsider letting him go to Ottawa.

Councillors had already turned down Douglas’s motion two weeks ago to allow him to go spend an extra $1,000 to go to Ottawa and lobby federal ministers while attending the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in June.

On Monday, Douglas brought forward another motion asking council to reconsider. The second vote ended in a tie and therefore was defeated. Councillor Jack McLeman was absent.

“Do I feel affronted? I don’t know that I’d say that,” Douglas said after the meeting. “The council has made a judgment call in what they feel is in the best interest of the community and we’ve moved on.”

Earlier, Douglas apologized for his part in a confrontation that occurred between him and councillors on March 10 when he first made the request.

“There can be occasions when personal feelings get in the way of what is best for the community,” Douglas said. “This can come about because of our own strong passions for Port Alberni…”

Douglas fleshed out his most recent request in a bid to clarify his proposed visit to Ottawa.

He said in meetings with senior officials he wanted to discuss such issues as the Roger Creek second crossing, city infrastructure upgrades, the waterfront industrial road and a new aquatic centre.

The list is too broad and it tries to do too many things at once, Coun. Cindy Solda said after the meeting. “We need a specific agenda, a specific list of doable projects and a very specific plan.”

As well, instead of going it alone the right approach is to leverage the influence larger lobbying bodies such as the Union of BC Municipalities and Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, Solda said.

“There’s strength in numbers and working through them might produce better results.”

Councillor’s aren’t against sending Douglas anywhere, Solda said. Earlier, they voted in favour of sending Douglas to Vancouver for a civic governance conference in April.

The cost of the trip will be reimbursed by CUPE BC.

The $1,000 isn’t a good investment, said Coun. Hira Chopra, who also voted no. “For me it’s business – what are we getting back in return for that $1,000?” he said. “I don’t think he’d accomplish much on his own so I don’t think it’s a wise spending decision.”

Coun. Wendy Kerr disagreed with Chopra, saying that Port Alberni can get lost in the shuffle of larger bodies. “I supported the motion because I think he should be given the opportunity to go to Ottawa and speak for the people of Port Alberni,” she said. “A thousand dollars isn’t much when you think about it.”

Audience member Neil Anderson spoke during the public input period and asked councillors to support Douglas’ bid to go to Ottawa. Three letters in council’s agenda also supported the trip as well.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Three people deemed heroes after rescuing another in fiery crash on B.C. highway

Two people taken to hospital following head-on collision near Port Alberni

Crews mopping up after burning field Beaver Creek near Port Alberni

Firefighters from three departments, aerial support battled large grass fire

Port Alberni prepares to welcome hundreds of Indigenous youth delegates

Gathering Our Voices event will take place in the Alberni Valley from March 19-22

Beaver Creek club looking for name for new park

The Beaver Creek Community Hall is holding an online contest

Franklin Expedition exhibit opens at Alberni Valley Museum

Echoes in the Ice: Finding Franklin’s Ship runs until June 8 in Port Alberni

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read