Well, here we are again it seems. The recent meeting with transportation minister Todd Stone, Mayor Jackson and Scott Hamilton at first glance would seem innocent enough.
However, notwithstanding Mayor Jackson’s comments, the Province of BC (ie the taxpayers of BC, not the Liberal Party) has put sufficient funds toward this project to warrant the presence of both local MLA’s, not just Mayor Jackson’s choice. Mayor Jackson states that this is up to Province. If she truly were a ‘leader’ of this community and honestly be interested in appropriate presentation she would see this as her responsibility. This is not just a case of ‘appropriate policy’ but a matter of decency. Mayor Jackson apparently doesn’t understand this and finds the need to label the response as an act of conspiracy. I guess when you are in her position for as long as she it might be difficult to differentiate (and I’ll quote Mayor Jackson) acts of courtesy and ”trouble visits”. Especially when you are so very busy.
I’m afraid this brings me to an older theme. It is very clear that Scott Hamilton in his mere weeks as a newly elected MLA has shown an inability to act in good faith for the community. And he is supported in that by Mayor Jackson. It is understandable as they have been aligned for some time. However, it belies any convention and common sense. No-one can serve two masters. Whether one is on an “unpaid leave of absence” (-with voting rights ??!) or just showing up when you can (or by phone), both positions require one’s full and unbiased attention. Not only do the people of North Delta deserve a dedicated MLA, the people of all of Delta deserve a full and attentive council. Similar comments have been made for all other constituencies that are in this predicament. For any council to obscure this issue with comments about cost is an avoidance of democracy and hides whatever real reasons exist. It is really clear that the above issue merely presents the tip of the iceberg. This problem will only get worse if it is not attended to now. There will be conflict of interest on almost all issues, provincial and municipal! One of the first things they teach you on council is that if it may appear as a conflict, it is a conflict. Mayor Jackson and Mr. Hamilton seem to have forgotten that.
Please, anyone that cares about this issue write to this council and tell them to get on with a by-election! Only a year ago Mayor Jackson was telling us that the cost for council was low and that most cities of this size need more than 6 councilors to do the work. Let’s get the council we deserve.