“The material that you submitted to support your delegation request is considered to contain defamatory content to staff and trustees when viewed in its entirety. It contains numerous personal remarks and personal opinions directed at a named trustee or staff person, as well as aspersions about their motives. Therefore, in keeping with the direction given to staff by the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee, the document will not be included in the February 27, 2014 LTC agenda package.”
Pauline Brazier, February 20, 2014
“In the March 20 LTC package, I see your [Varzeliotis] correspondence associated with your delegation. Thank you for ensuring that it is written in a manner that is not defamatory.”
Leah Hartley, March 13, 2014
“Due to the Islands Trust’s obligation to ensure a respectful workplace for its employees, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee will not accept any further delegations or correspondence at its meetings that are slanderous to staff and regrets that such material has been published with the agenda. The Trust Committee is also requesting staff not to publish documents that are defamatory or harassing and to exclude them from the agenda in future.”
For the reasons cited above, your material submission entitled: “In Rage-o-Rrhea Veritas” will not be received or included in the agenda package.”
Claire Olivier, September 27, 2013
“Per the Islands Trust Policy Manual concerning incoming local trust committee correspondence, we must advise you that correspondence that is defamatory toward an individual or that contains profanities or language that is deemed to be inappropriate will not be placed on a local trust committee agenda that is open to the public.
On page 4, the last page of your submission, 3rd paragraph, we have highlighted a section of text which is deemed to be defamatory.
Should you wish to remove the defamatory wording, we will accept your material for inclusion in the March 20th agenda package. The deadline for re-submission will be 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 12th.
Claire Olivier, March 11, 2014
NB: The “defamatory toward an individual or that contains profanities or language that is deemed to be inappropriate”, whatever the case may be, is:
“This amounts to spreading disinformation. Hartley, having herself mid-wifed it, knows that the purpose of that “procedures bylaw” is to enable the Trustees and the Staff to evade answering penetrating questions, such as the “reasons” for the censoring of my Review of her (Leah Hartley’s) Report on Booth Canal.”
Claire Olivier, September 27, 2013
NB: Trustee Grove asked Hartley to assist him in producing what is now known as “Bylaw 473", and it is highly unlikely that Groves would have done it alone.
“Below please find excerpts from the draft minutes of the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee meeting of August, 22, 2013. The reasons for the removal of your delegation material from the agenda of the August 22, 2013 meeting are outlined on page 1 of the minutes, as set out below. Also included is direction from the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee on future handling of delegation material which is offensive or objectionable to staff. Guidelines for delegations and town hall are reviewed on page 6 of the minutes under item 12.
Excerpts from the August 22, 2013 draft SSILTC Minutes
From Page 1:
It was MOVED and SECONDED that the agenda be amended by removing the objectionable delegation material from agenda Item 12.1 entitled “Groyne-o-Rrhea NonScientifica” for the reason that it contains offensive, objectionable content which is contrary to the Islands Trust’s obligation to provide a respectful workplace. CARRIED
Chair Malcolmson noted the following:
Due to the Islands Trust’s obligation to ensure a respectful workplace for its employees, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee will not accept any further delegations or correspondence at its meetings that are slanderous to staff and regrets that such material has been published with the agenda. The Trust Committee is also requesting staff not to publish documents that are defamatory or harassing and to exclude them from the agenda in future.”
Sheila Malcolmson, September 24, 2013
“5.1 Booth Canal Advocacy
RPM Hartley provided verbal update. The Trustees, through Trustee Grams, to enquire of the Friends of Booth Canal (FOBC) which government office they want to carry out the rehabilitation program.”
Hartley, the LTC and Grams – Minutes of the January 9, 2014 LTC meeting
“He [Varzeliotis] needs someone to talk to him, that is all ... I will have a talk with him sometime soon”.
(Quote is from memory”, substantively correct)
Peter Grove at the “first”meeting of the current LTC - January 5, 2012
“ISLANDS TRUST LTC limits participant's activities – Varzeliotis denied delegation and speaking opportunities”, bylined Elizabeth Nolan.
THE GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD JANUARY 20, 2016 EDITION
“ISLANDS TRUST LTC limits participant's activities Varzeliotis denied delegation and speaking opportunities
BY ELIZABETH NOLAN – DRIFTWOOD STAFF
Salt Spring's Local Trust Committee has acted to reduce participation by a resident with a history of frequent communications, outlining at the Jan. 14 business meeting how information from Tom Varzeliotis will be received in future.
During Thursday's agenda item on correspondence, LTC chair Peter Luckham informed Varzeliotis that staff have been directed not to answer any letter received by him unless the members request that it be added to a meeting agenda.
"Further, we have decided we will only consider your requests to appear before the Local Trust Committee as a delegation, or to speak at a town hall session at a business meeting, if your remarks are relevant to a matter on our agenda for that meeting," Luckham said.
Varzeliotis objected to the fact that his letter wasn't included as correspondence on the agenda, nor was his request for a delegation, even though those communications wouldn't be discussed.
"You are supposed to hold public meetings. This implies that the people are entitled to know what you are doing, entitled to answers . . . You have the opportunity to say we received a message about that, and we decided that we do not want the public to know about that message. That is the honest way," he said.
Varzeliotis also compared the LTC's actions those of Idi Amin and Muammar Gaddafi.
Salt Spring trustee George Grams explained after the meeting that for several years Varzeliotis has been alleging impropriety, if not illegality, by LTC members and staff in how they treat his communications.
"At times he has addressed matters that are not within the jurisdiction of the Local Trust Committee nor Islands Trust Council. The tenor and content of some of his correspondence has been offensive and defamatory. He has been advised so in writing," Grams wrote in an email to the Driftwood.
The Salt Spring LTC meeting bylaw, as amended in 2013, permits the chair to deny an individual the right to give a delegation or address a meeting in cases of irrelevance, defamatory or derogatory speech, or improper conduct.
Islands Trust Council has investigated Varzeliotis' claims and found them groundless, Grams added, and he has so far not taken his complaints further.
"There is a limit to how much tolerance we provide someone who at each LTC makes allegations they fail to substantiate and who refuses to refer those allegations for independent and authoritative review by the Office of the Ombudsperson," Grams said. "His conduct is disruptive to the meetings and provisions in the Local Trust Committee Procedure Bylaw provide guidance on how this is to be addressed."
Varzeliotis remains free to speak at public hearings provided his remarks are related to the subject of the hearing.”
THE GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD FEBRUARY 3, 2016 EDITION”
“Re: “ISLANDS TRUST LTC limits participant's activities – Varzeliotis denied delegation and speaking opportunities” bylined Elizabeth Nolan, the Driftwood, January 20 2016.
The article cries for corrective measures. It sources the information to Local Trust Committee (LTC) Chair Peter Luckham; to Trustee George Grams “statements” to Ms. Nolan; and to an email communication to the Driftwood from Trustee Grams, also mentioned in the subject article. I will comment on the first item but I will defer comment on the others.
At the LTC meeting, I had requested an amendment of the Agenda due to it containing, once again, entries that were not true and were, therefore disinforming the public. Unwilling to make the corrections to the Agenda, or dispute my request, Luckham elected to “justify” what I was objecting to. He read into the record of the meeting a letter he had mailed me, privately, on May 21, 2015, announcing yet another expansion to the Trust censorship apparatus and revving up its deployment. This the Trust has not the authority to do, and in any event, the Trust is commanded by law, to do things in public, which explains why they did the censorship escalation by stealth.
It also explains why Chair Luckham omitted mention of the fact that I had answered his letter; And that he has censored my repeated request to make public his letter and my response.
The recent escalation of censorship and the outburst of personal attacks manifests the effects of my work on the Trust – work on issues such as the Brinkworthy Sports Multiplex, Island Governance, Government Transparency, reversing the demise of Booth Canal, etc. They are shooting the messenger because the message hurts.
I will repeat here a challenge I have posed countless times to the Trust, one occasion being the LTC meeting at issue, a challenge they have not even attempted to answer:
"Come and show me something, anything at all, that I said or wrote, that is not true, or that would have better been left untold – please do”
It tells it all, does it not?