Unsportsmanship in BC - Alcyonenews

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Posted August 6, 2016

Unsportsmanship in BC

On July 29, 2016, The SaltSpring Island Local Trust Committee, voted three/zero to allow the Parks and Recreation plan to expand by building a complex of sport playing fields on 15 acres of prime agricultural land. No reasonable justification for it was presented to the people of Salt Spring and, to avoid public reaction to an arbitrary expansion, “they” sought to create a fait accompli by advancing the process underground.

After the plan was exposed, the public reaction they had sought to avert materialized. They then moved to suppress the public input and avert debate that would boost awareness and public objection to the scheme.

In July, 2016, the LTC voted  to send the PARC application to the Aricultural Land Commision with a recommendation that it removes the land from the Agricultual Land Reserve to permit construction of the Sports multiplex and doing so completely against the public will.

The conduct of the Trust was so bad as to propel the issue past the bounds of the imposition of the Sportpsplex on the islanders.  Indeed, it transcends into the realm of the governance of a free society.  The conduct of the Trust is an anathema to Democracy and its occurrence is a threat to the people of Canada. For it is allowed once in an island, it “feasible” and would happen again, many times, in many places, threatening all of us, everywhere in Canada.

That  is why I extended my rendition and analysis of the conduct of Trust to beyond the Agricultural land Commission to the  the Government of British Columbia. And why I share the this exposition through Alcy.


Chair Frank Leonard
The Provincial Agricultural Land Commission
133 – 4940 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC,V5G 4K6


The Hon. Norm Letnick
Minister of Agriculture
Victoria BC

The Hon. Peter Fassbender,
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Victoria BC,
Burnaby, BC,V5G 4K6

Re: Salt Spring Island – PARC Sports Multiplex

On July 21, 2016, The Islands Trust, Salt Spring Local Trust Committee, decided to forward to the Agricultural Land Commission an Application by the Saltspring Parks and Recreation Commission for permission to build a multiplex of playing fields on a property known as 181 Brinkworthy Road on Saltspring Island. This has met with strong public opposition.

Having followed closely the transit of the PARC application; and drawing on my professional skills and  experience from my service with Environment Canada; I deem it incumbent on me to bring to you a perspective of the matter that you may not receive from the applicant or the Islands Trust. At the end of my succinct presentation I relate a comprehensive account of the trajectory of this application through the LTC and offer to discuss anything your staff may require for clarification or the Applicant may challenge.


Democracy is not a Spectators game

(Barak Obama, after Plato et al)

At its July 21, 2016 meeting, the SaltSpring Island Local Trust Committee (“LTC”) voted to “forward with recommendation” to the Agricultural Land Commission (“ALC”) an application by the SaltSpring Parks and Recreation Commission (“PARC”) for permission to construct a Sports Playing Field Multiplex (“Sportsplex”) on a 15 acre prime  ALR property known as “181 Brinkworthy Road”. This property is adjacent to a sizeable retirement community which will be turned topsy turvy if the application comes to realization.

PARC had attempted exactly the same project in 2010, on Furness Road, in the Bourgoyne Valley of the Island. That was foiled without referral to ALC due to public outcry. PARC laid low for a while until in 2015 it brought to the LTC an application to do the Sportsplex on Brinkworthy this time.

Mindful of the public aversion to that ill-reasoned out project, PARC formed a tacit coalition with the LTC to do the Sportsplex secretly and face the public with a fait accompli, thereby averting opposition in the process and rendering public reaction meaningless.  

In October 2015, the secrecy cocoon of the coalition was cracked forcing the LTC to bring the process above ground. It is pertinent that all the agricultural organizations of the Island took positions strongly against the loss to Agriculture of the Brinkworthy acres; the Brinkworthy community (consisting of people “over 55") came out to protect their  well-being and the value of their homes; the people at large objected to another tax black hole and protested the Czarismatic manner of the Trust. The LTC fought back with cover-ups of their conduct, by hiding information and spreading disinformation.

The Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission (“AAPC”) of SaltSpring voted against the project; the LTC retaliated by firing half of its members and replacing them with people they expected to vote the “right way” when the LTC would re-submit to the AAPC a PRofessionally revamped Sportsplex plan. The revamped AAPC recognized the wolf in the “sheep skin”, and to LTC’s great grief, voted again against it,  again unanimously ...

Since startup in October 2015, to its meeting of July 21, 2016 when they sent it to the ALC, the LTC endeavoured to suppress public input and discussion of this project and to a great extent they succeeded. Yet numerous submissions were made, which the LTC “released” in bunches, cleverly hidden in appendices to Staff Reports.  Worse yet, the Trust “wastebasketed”  outright many public submissions to ensure they would never be seen by the public eye. This handicapped debate prevented the cross-pollination of ideas and turned potential contributors into “apathetics”, thereby favouring the promoters of the Sportsplex.

The suppression of debate was not the only malfeasance – they deployed other machinations as well, all converging to make the handling of this matter anathema to democracy – indeed  their conduct is what Democracy is meant to protect society against.   Because their doings are hard to believe happening in our society,  I go through the conduct of the LTC in some detail and present it attached to the communication at hand.

But, as I mentioned, the conduct of the Trust transcends the Sportsplex to  offends social conventions and flies in the face of democracy. For this reason I copy this to the Hon. Fassbender, to whom the Trust and the PARC are answerable.

In Conclusion:

1.   The subject project was conceived and advanced by persons fully aware that it would meet strong public opposition. Saving a few short trips to a few “advanced” ball players just does not  trample paving over prime agricultural land; stifling the well-being of the Brinkworthy retirement community; imposing a tax black hole on the society; this certainly does not justify maligning democracy to prevail over the people.

2.  Spending some $100,000 of peoples’ money to pay PRofessional persuaders to masquerade the Ugly as Pretty leads to disaster. Like it did to the Trojans, when Ulysses invented the “stealth armed personnel carrier” and crafted that irresistible looking Wooden Horse!

3.  That the LTC has now “determined that the ALC is the proper body to weigh the  [Brinkworthy] property’s potential community value as sports fields versus agricultural lands in farm use”, as was reported in the community newspaper, is silly really!  This  “determination”, realized  after the LTC had been bent on making the decision itself  for as long as it takes to gestate a human baby, is a covert admission of failure, it is not a show of acute astuteness.

4.  Passing the buck is a poor substitute for a show of remorse and  expression of apologies.  But it surely exposes the innards of the LTC cranium ...

5.  All of which converge to paint in bad colours the Trust’s dumping the Sportsplex carcass for disposal  at the ALC portal...


1.  Recognize that this application has reached the ALC by devious means; and that PARC & Trust in resorting to deploying such  ways and means as they did, have revealed  the void of merit of the Application. On that basis, strike the application.

2.  In the alternative, bounce the application to PARC & Trust with a notation that if they want the ALC  to consider it,  they must take it through the appropriate process commencing with publishing  the entire body of accumulated public submissions now in their possession, advertise the showcasing, open the door to more submissions and welcome discussion, over a reasonable period. Then, if they still so wish, bring the Application back to the ALC complete with the entire file of public input,  all to transpire in front of the Public Eye.


Dr. A. N. T. Varzeliotis, P.Eng (Ret’d).

CC:  Peter Luckham Chair Inlands Trust Council and SaltSpring Local Trust Committee     pluckham@islandstrust.bc.ca
Karla Campbell     CRD Senior Manager, SaltSpring      kcampbell@crd.bc.ca



Supplement:   Tracing the Sprotsplex trajectory through the Trust to the ALC

In 2010 the SaltSpring Island (SSI) Parks and Recreation (PARC) sought to construct a Sports Multiplex (“Sportsplex”) on Furness  Road in the South part of SaltSpring Island (“SSI”), but the expansion plan was foiled by public objection.

In 2015, PARC commenced another attempt to do the same Sports Multiplex in SSI, this time on the lands at 181 Brinkworthy Road. (Lot 3, Section 5, Range 2 East, North Salt Spring Island, Cowichan District, Plan 4936, Except Parcel A (DD 385790I)

This is a 15 acre parcel, classed A1 land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR);  it lies alongside a long established retirement community of over 86 homes exclusively for “people over 55", as well as in the vicinity of several other residences.

At no time has PARC established that the Sportsplex is anything beyond an “expansion desire” on their Wish List. Nor have they attempted to argue that it tramples the cause of food self-sufficiency; the need for locally grown fresh crisp red onions; the well-being of the Brinkworthy Community and the burdening of the society with another tax black hole forever.

Indeed, the expansion mindset of PARC was demonstrated by the trial balloons they floated in 2015 for building a  revenue oriented “multipurpose” hall on the parcel they built the swimming pool; and constructing an office building for rental to other “government organizations” like the Islands Trust, I presume, which would not be housed where it is, if it was not for itself to periodically exempt itself from its own bylaws.     

Moving surreptitiously

PARC Board discussed the Sportsplex behind closed doors on September 21, 2015, on the pretext of protecting a real estate transaction. They did a repeat performance on October 19, again behind closed doors,  again with the same pretext.

The SSI Local Trust Committee (“LTC”) discussed the same subject on October 1 and October 22, 2015, closing the doors to the public on the pretext the PARC Board had used to exclude the public.   

This pretext reads:

The (name of the public body)  “closes this meeting to the public subject to Community Charter Section 90(1)(e) concerning the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the Committee considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the community.”

Nota Benne:  I said “pretext” because I find it inconceivable that  PARC and the Trust could conceivably interpret this Community Charter section “90(1)(e)” as empowering public bodies like PARC and the Trust to do unto the people by stealth what the people do not want done to them...

They know or ought to know that Democracy exists to exclude dictators, including “benevolent dictators”, “paternalistic do-gooders”, small and large, all and sundry of that ilk ...

As it turned out, this “justification” for locking out the public was not true because PARC had already locked in the property transaction. The fear was real however, it was the fear of the people foiling this renewed attempt at PARC expansion as they had done in 2010. It is this fear that drove PARC to make a coalition with the Trust to push the Sportsplex surreptitiously.

But, in a free society fear of the people does not justify governance from the dungeon and if such is attempted it invites prosecution.

On October 1,  2015, the SSI  Local Trust Committee (LTC) went behind closed doors to discuss the PARC application for the LTC consent to move the PARC plan to  the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for exemption from the Agricultural Land Reserve (“ALR”) to develop the Sportsplex on the Brinkworthy Lands –  “for non-agricultural purposes”, they called it.

In this instance, the wording  “for non-agricultural purposes” is meant to obfuscate the fact that the lands at issue will be lost to agriculture forever if PARC build the Sports multiplex on it. There is no conceivable chance that if PARC build the Sportsplex, the Brinkworthy lands would ever revert to Agriculture.

At that October 1st LTC meeting, with a written and oral submission, I exposed the true subject of the behind “closed” doors session the LTC had scheduled as being the PARC application for LTC consent to the PARC Sportsplex.

This enraged the LTC as manifested by body language. They neither denied nor admitted to it but they proceeded in secrecy, oblivious that they were offending the law and subverting democracy!

Subsequent to the behind closed doors October 1st LTC discussion the following are known to have happened:

*  LTC Trustee George Grams approached the Chair of the SSI Agricultural  Advisory Planning Commission (AAPC) whose advice the LTC is obligated  to seek and consider,  seeking to influence the AAPC deliberations on the Brinkworthy lands.

*  Grams also approached the ALC seeking a delegation of power to the LTC to act as surrogate of the ALC, so that the LTC could itself remove the Brinkworthy Lands from the ALR. This manifests PARC & Trust recognition that the PARC application did not merit exclusion of the Brinkworthy property from the ALR for the Sportsplex.

*  LTC Planner Seth Wright, in charge of the Sportsplex PARC Application file, discussed with PARC applying to the LTC for a rezoning of the Brinkworthy lands to allow for the Sportsplex. This normally would come to the LTC only if and after the ALC would release the Land from the ALR.

I again exposed these in a paper I delivered at the October 22, 2015 LTC meeting. Had the missions of Trustee Grams and Planner Wright succeeded, the LTC would, in a single session behind closed doors, deliver to PARC the Brinkworthy lands ready for the bulldozers. And the people of Saltspring would have been force-fed a distasteful fait accompli. And the Brinkworthy community of seniors and the other residents of the area would have lost the amenities they invested in when buying their homes.

Flushed out

The November 19th  LTC meeting marked the bringing-out-from-the-closet the Brinkworthy file. The LTC showed neither remorse nor did they express apologies for having attempted to impose the Sportsplex by stealth ...

The PARC application was not “on the table”. There was a Staff Report about it and it contained out-of-context excerpts from the PARC Application, mostly unmarked as such, but the Application itself was AWOL.

An odd cluster of events followed.

The Staff Report  was substandard in many significant ways  and at serious variance with the 2010 Staff Report on the identical PARC Multiplex. Characteristically, the Staff Report makes no reference whatsoever to the 2010 PARC attempt to build the Sportsplex, nor of the Trust’s stand vis a vis it! Because they clash violently with their 2015 counterparts ...

The deficiencies of the Staff Report triggered curiosity and invited inquiry.  Direct requests for the application returned refusals from both the LTC and PARC.  The LTC unabashedly stated that parts of the PARC application were “classified”. PARC demanded a formal Freedom Of Information (FOI) application to even consider giving us access to that, it being a document  meant to be entirely public. Upon regaining consciousness, I filed a FOI on November 18, 2015 – PARC took the whole allowable period, and on January 6, 2016 they mailed me a document other than what I had requested!

It reminded me that most  “classified” information I had seen in the course of my career, were  “classified” to cover either stupidity or sinistri.

Facing the Farmers

On December 3, 2015, the Trust’s own AAPC (Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission) considered the PARC Sports Multiplex.  Trust Planners and the PARC manager attended. I took a written submission to AAPC but the Planners blocked it.

Sensing the mood of the APPC, PARC manager Dan Ovington offered in exchange for the 15 acres A1 ALR Brinkworthy Lands, an 8 acre piece of Duck Creek Park for inclusion in the ALR but to remain park. This is entirely meaningless because PARC would never farm the  Park – land inclusion in the PARC expanse of land is ironclad exclusion of farming that land.

Ovington  also offered additional trade-in, namely the “decommissioning” of other playing fields PARC is operating illegitimately on ALR land. It was like trying to trade-in a stolen bicycle for a Harley Davidson.

The AAPC had received and considered publically inputs from the Farmers’ Institute and other island farming interests; they questioned the Trust planners and the PARC manager and then unanimously passed a resolution asking the LTC to toss the PARC application and to preserve the Brinkworthy lands for agriculture.

But the LTC was not done with the AAPC, as I will relate shortly.

Feeling misunderstood and unloved

The mainstay of the PARC spiel was that despite PARC persistent efforts to entice owners to sell land to PARC for the Sportsplex, there have been no offers. Nobody out there wants to sell land to PARC for that nice sporstplex, they kept saying almost with tears in their eyes.  In plain words,  this is pure poppycock.

The truth is that PARC has made no honest offer to buy land for this Sports Multiplex.  PARC has been asking land owners to give PARC free of charge a two-year long option-to-buy land. But, the cost of holding a property for the benefit of PARC for two years or so is in the order of a $100,000. No person of a modicum of business acumen will do that.    

On December 20, 2015  I wrote a paper about this fake claim PARC was using to deceive the public and the regulatory bodies.  I titled my paper, appropriately I thought,  “A DriveShaft made of Spaghetti”. I distributed it to PARC and the Trust but never heard back from either ...

There is widespread public discontent with PARC in SSI and is manifested by the reaction PARC elicited recently when they flew trial balloons about erecting a rental hall on Rainbow Road and a rental office building on part of the Portlock playing fields property. People feel that PARC is unduly expansionist and that they mismanage and underutilize their land holdings, plenty of which PARC already has in SSI.

The above mentioned aspect may explain the real reason for the PARC insistence on a lengthy free-of-charge, free-of-obligations, tie-down of property.  It manifests PARC awareness that were they to face the society with a request for more tax money to expand, they would be laughed out of town. Hence they move surreptitiously  to create a fait accompli, before the over-taxed citizenry gets wind of it ...

Fighting the Farmers back

On December 17, 2015 the LTC discarded the December 3 AAPC decision on grounds that the members of the AAPC are partial to agriculture! This characterization I find as damnable as would be  an attempt to disqualify Churchill from  fighting the vile man with the little mustache because Churchill was partial to democracy!

At the December 17th meeting, the LTC asked PARC to reformat that sporstplex and make it benefit agriculture – this is as preposterous as it sounds. But PARC was not coming forth with that, as far as we know, and the Sportsplex did not appear in the agenda of  either the January 14 or the February 11, 2016 LTC meetings.

Bitter revenge

The Trust has reacted vehemently to my work on the Brinkworthy file. In a fit of rage, they expressed themselves by launching a churlish ad hominem attack on me.

To the January 14, 2016 LTC meeting I had brought  “correspondence and a delegation” about the Trust’s heavy handed Trust censoring of my submissions and especially of my contributions to the Brinkworthy Sportsplex “debate”. There was no mention in the agenda of my contributions and I raised the issue “of the censoring of my submissions surreptitiously” and topping that by “censoring their censorship of them”. The evidence was all in my paper and the Trust just could not take it! They launched a mean-spirited attack on my person. So ugly it was that they “censored” it in the meeting minutes by “summarizing”  it to the following:

“One member of the public spoke to practices concerning delegations and  provided a written submission dated January 14, 2016 entitled “Tom's Town Hall Placard”.

But a succinct account of the exchange, complete with “explanations” the LTC gave to the Driftwood newspaper, was in the paper on January 20. Elizabeth Nolan reported  on the event and mentioned that  Chairman Luckham and Trustee Grams had  followed up their defamatory assertions with letters, thereby supplementing the slander with libel. Indicating how reckless they were is that Chairman Luckham declared me
Public Enemy Numero Uno and portrayed the LTC as fighting me, St George fashion, to protect society from me, big bad Tom!  Yes, it is in writing!

In writing  is also that Luckham asked the reporter not to divulge the origin of the “information” they were spreading – being ashamed was the right thing to show,  no one would blame them for that, other than not showing enough of it!

What had been hushed in the LTC meeting minutes was prominently reported in the Driftwood newspaper in an article with the headline:

“ISLAND TRUST – LTC limits participant’s activities – Varzeliotis denied delegation and  speaking opportunities”

Such gross “miss-minuting” is ingrained in the Trust corporate philosophy as evidenced by that it transcends successive minute-takers and chairpersons ...
This is serious stuff still pending resolution. Here, I should mention that they hurled derogatory platitudes at me but did not point to any particular event that would support even an iota of their attack on my person.

This “going public” manifests the magnitude of their rage for my exposing the PARC & Trust  secret agenda on the Sports Multiplex. It is relevant to the submission at hand because it illustrates the ways and means the LTC used to push the Sportsplex, which in turn, testifies to it being unsustainable by legitimate means.

I will move on shortly,  after I relate a tragic but amusing aftermath of that ad hominem attack.  On legal advice I presume, the Three of the SSI LTC were sent to school in Victoria to learn how to avert repetition of the January 14-20 events.  At the March 10 LTC meeting they reported on their schooling, bragging about their recently acquired skills for “managing” the media! In a lapse of tongue control, Trustee Grove revealed that “they were taught to avoid doing stupid things”, insinuating to what they had done in January and which necessitated they be sent to school!

One fears the education venture  may have been low yield!

Consultants know best ...

At that March 10 LTC meeting, the coalition recognized that they could not fight the public on the Sportsplex and resorted to “hired guns”,  “PRofessional PRomoters” if you will.  They hired such and mandate them  to convince society that the “obvious” is a mirage and that all is hunky dory about building the Sportsplex in Brinkworthy; and that the Sporstplex will be a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

The LTC identified half a dozen specialties of PRofessionals and recommended to PARC to hire from all of them. PARC is now spending some $100,000 on PRopaganda. It is our money “working” to help the PARC impose upon us what we do not want!

The PRofessionals started by remaking the original B&W development plan, metamorphosing it into a colourful tableau depicting only one sports field on the property, with discreet car parking, a nice large pond, possibly with water lilies and goldfish  in the middle of the parcel,  with idyllic paths along the property periphery, invoking lovely strolls about that bit of paradise. They painted their oeuvre in pastel green. Marvelous!

The hiding  of all but the one playing field is interesting. They say this is the “first stage” of the Sportsplex Project that is needed now – the rest, it is implied, is to come later if and when the need arises.  Well,  there is no dispute that PARC possess ample land for the one paying field they need now. But PARC had pretended needing a multiplex of fields now and a place to hold sports tournaments, as a justification of expanding the land holdings – for that they would need to expand their land holding ...

A $100,000 PRofessional bill for that?

Educating the people

At the April 7,  LTC Meeting Trustee Grove reported on “a Capital Regional District (CRD) Open House regarding the proposed recreational playing fields at 181 Brinkworthy Road.”  It turned out to have been an attempt staged ”by invitation only” so as to exclude “trouble-makers”, those who might bring “difficult” questions.

I understand the event  was scripted, orchestrated and performed by PRofessional Persuaders hired by PARC to sway and calm down the Brinkworthy community who will suffer the brunt of the sportsplex. Such “information dissemination” meetings have become popular with professional persuaders for they are “efficient” – lining the trained communicators against “ordinary” citizens  is like matching me with George Chuvalo, or even Justin Trudeau, in a boxing ring!

Is this another “true” excuse?

There was another interesting item in the Agenda of the April 7 LTC, namely a closing of the meeting to the public   

“in accordance  with the Community Charter, Part 4, Division 3, Section 90(1)(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a service that are at their preliminary stages.”

Exactly the same was done at the next, the May 5, meeting.  By the way, the secret service remains secret!

Of course they never divulged what they discussed behind closed doors, but the odds strongly favour betting it was about the Brinkworthy multiplex. The “service  to be provided”, it being the facility to play ball.

If they displease you, replace them!  But, it can backfire ...

The PARC Application, as metamorphosed by the PRofessionals, had to go again through the AAPC to be considered in its sugar-coated new-self. In anticipation, the LTC moved to ensure that the AAPC performs “correctly”. They fired three members of the AAPC who had been prominent in the December 3, 2015 AAPC objection to “non-farm use” of ALR land for a Sportsplex. The LTC muscle boys swiftly replaced the irreverent AAPC members with people they thought would vote “correctly”.  As we will see, the scheme is not always foolproof  ...

Public input is for the birds

The June 2, LTC meeting minutes include a frequently made request, one which  in a country democratically governed should never be needed, but which in the Republic of the Trust is never heeded:  

“A member of the public requested the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee publish all public submissions regarding the non-farm use application for playing fields on Brinkworthy Road.”

This rendition of the event in the Minutes contains the justification of the “request”.  The proof is in referring to the citizen who “requested” the LTC practice open governance  as an unidentified  “member of the public”. In effect, they censor the citizens’ names and then turn their mighty censorship gun onto themselves, so to speak,  to censor their shameful conduct.  To begin with, it denies the subject the weight it may have due to the credibility of its author. This may be substantial, as evidenced by the way commercial PRomoters place on “testimonials” and celebrity “endorsements”!

Then,  the denial of due credit frustrates potential contributors to public affairs of the society and drives citizens to apathy, thereby leaving Czarismatic magistrates plenty of room to “express themselves” unfettered by consideration of Logic ...

The “member of the public” un-named in the minutes was not given an answer at the Trust’s  “Townhall  and Questions” period. Yes, the LTC clammed up as usual, because they wanted the public input on Brinkworthy hidden – any questions?

By the way, I know who the “member of the public”  was in this instance,  I know it well for that “member of the public” was I.

A love-in turning sour

The June 29, 2016 LTC meeting was cleverly staged to shore up the shrinking public support for the Sportsplex.  Originally planned for June 23, it was shifted to June 29, a Wednesday while the LTC meetings are “normally” held on Thursdays; and was relocated from the usual Lions’ Hall to the secondary school (GISS). The changes were posted on the Trust website, but were not advertised beyond that.

Trust staff told me that they moved the meeting to the  school to accommodate the ball players that were expected to swarm the meeting. They sought to make them comfortable by taking the meeting to the familiar environment of their school. Some players showed up, but  coaches may have outnumbered the players in attendance!

Things did not turn out so rosy for the love-in organizers. As per the draft minutes, there were six delegations against the Sportsplex, and only three for it,  making the score an impressive 6/3!

At the Town Hall sessions, 10 people spoke for the sportsplex, but 13 spoke against it. One of the 13 castigated the LTC for firing three members of the AAPC to revenge the December 3 AAPC vote against the sportsplex. The 13th summiteer  was not counted in the Minutes because Staff “stole” his presentation,  as I will relate shortly.

Building up the Trust censorship apparatus arsenal

I brought to the June 29, LTC meeting a paper titled: “A Flawed instead of a Fair Process – Reasons at Random”, exposing the ways and means by which the Trust was processing the PARC application. I placed copies of it on the “information table” for the people “to take one” and I moved on to hand copies to the LTC and the minute-taker. I happened to turn my head and saw Trust’s “legislative secretary” Claire Olivier taking all the copies of the Placard away from the table. I went back and confronted her –  she became jittery,  uttered some nonsense, and went away with the leaflets!

Immediately I took up the issue with Chairman Luckham and Trustee Grove and Grams, all of who laughed, manifesting that it was their will  Olivier was implementing.

I decided to not speak to my “stolen” submissions because I was not sure I could keep my cool.

The AAPC is not obedient

After the December 3, 2016 “disrespectful” AAPC vote, the LTC gave another chance to the LTC. They tried to get the AAPC to support the efforts of the Trust to wrestle a delegation of authority from the ALC to remove by itself the Brinkworthy lands from the ALR.  It appears that the AAPC did not warm up to that, and the LTC  rescinded the referral with  a silly excuse: David Marlor, of the Trust Victoria headquarters had made arrangement for a Trust – ALC meeting in the Fall, of 2016!

This added to the LTC’s discontent with the AAPC.

Fix up the Commission and try Again

After the PRofessionals took over the Sportsplex, they decided they had to move away from the old drab plan that failed in 2010, was recycled in 2015 and was not working,  thereby necessitating the bringing in of the Professionals. They decided to go entirely “new” and drew a plan in colour with hews of romance and plenty of sex appeal to thrust it  past the gate. Theirs was a new game and as such it had to pass through the AAPC. But the AAPC had proved “unreliable” and the creative Trustees decided to work on it to render it trustworthy.

To that end they fired three of its seven members and appointed new ones, expecting them, and the paradigm from the firing,  to produce a “correct vote”.

On July 7, the “reformed” AAPC convened to consider the cosmetically revamped application for the Sportsplex. Trust Staff was in attendance and tried to convince the AAPC to support the multiplex, but the highlight of that meeting was a smooth PResentation by a PRofessionals.  It was delivered by consultant Tom Fletcher with  PARC Manager Dan Ovington in the supporting role.  They presented a pretty idyllic picture for the “benefit” of the AAPC to the Brinkworthy people and the rest of us.

The AAPC endured them politely and then, voted against the Sportsplex, promptly,  unanimously, just like the “original” AAPC LTC had voted on December 3, on the same matter, all to the dismay of Trustees.

It was nice! Or so most people felt.

To dis examartein (Repeating a wrong ) ... Socrates

One would have expected the Trust to cease and desist stealing information from the public, after been caught red-handed at the June 19, meeting, but well...

At the July 21 LTC meeting, when I placed copies of the Placard on the information table, I saw Olivier hovering about. I moved away and a few second later I took a look back – Yes, Claire Olivier was taking away the leaflets, again!

Full speed ahead and damn everybody and everything

The July 21 meeting was to be a celebration but the LTC turned it into a disaster. It was expected that after the second or the third  AAPC objection to sacrificing the Brinkworthy Lands to Trust Bureaucratic Empire expansion,  the Trustees  would calm down and would end the Brinkworthy charade. But this was not to happen.

I will sample the “facts” the Staff brought to the LTC via the Staff Reports to form the basis for their decision on the Brinkworthy lands:

Communications received since LTC’s last consideration of the application are included in Appendix 1. Communications include suggestions for alternative site locations such as at Portlock Park or Fernwood Elementary School, concerns about Brinkworthy Road, environmental references to support food security, 61 support letters for developing the playing fields, and a support letter from Softball Canada.”

Wow!  “61 support letters” crowned with one more from Softball Canada – not even a single letter opposing it!  But ...  Well, hold the joy!

But ... The “61" are really one,  photocopied 60 times, signed by ball players  and friends, appropriately coached, one presumes.

But ...  What about the “communications received before the last LTC” ? ... Do they exist? Where are they?

But ... What about the 200 or more submissions for protecting and preserving agriculture, the amenities and the pocketbooks of the Brinkworthy community and for averting taxing in perpetuity the people of SaltSpring to pay for a grandiose sport multiplex?

But ... What about the numerous submissions via the media, such as Letters to the Editor, Viewpoint articles etc, which likely outnumber the “61", without counting in the weight they carry by comparison to “61"?

But ... What about the whereabouts of  some 20 written submissions I have made , including the two I brought to the LTC at the October 1st  and the 22nd meetings exposing the plot of the PARC & Trust coalition to do the multiplex by stealth?

NB: While I am flattered by the Trust’s tacit recognition of the potency of my submissions, I am concerned about the loss to the cause from excluding my work from the process and the other citizens who may have been meted out the same treatment?  And, of course,  I am dismayed at being “governed” by petty  censors.

But ... what  about the rage that led them in January to revenge my exposure of their surreptitious ways about this project that materialized in that concerted ad hominem January 20 attack on my person?

But ... What about the Trust’s latest censorship escalation, that of sending “Legislative Secretary” Claire Olivier to confiscate my leaflets?  All for the glory of Open Government, Trust version!

But ... What about their deafening silence on the PARC attempt to do the Sportsplex on Furness Road in 2015?   What about the role of the Trust in that instance?  Have they ever heard that we are governed by Common Law?

Of Dollars and sense

It took almost a year until finally Trustee Peter Grove, an accountant by trade, popped the question about the cost of buying, maintaining and operating the Sportsplex – it took until the July 21 meeting and my prodding to get the LTC to pretend concern for costs. And when it happened, Trust Planner Cermak who had authored,  or “consented” to all Staff Reports on the matter, admitted  ignorance of costs; and the named applicant and PARC Manager Dan Ovington, said he did know the cost of the Sportsplex, either...

It is possible that the professed ignorance of the cost of doing the Sportsplex was not true – it could be that hiding of the figures was intended to keep society in ignorance, for obvious reasons.  But  whether the Ovington and Cermak confessed ignorance was  fake or genuine does not detract from the fact that their “ignorance” of cost should by itself  suffice to strike the application.

Unfortunately Trustees Grove and Grams and LTC Chairman Luckham remained unfazed in the face of  PARC and the Trust managers promoting the Sportsplex while ignorant of the cost to society of what they were doing.

Finally, arguably, the ugliest part of the episode is that the Trustees instead of tossing the Staff Reports and telling the PARC to get lost, kept on pushing and pulling the Sporstplex unfettered by this revelation of Managerial and Planning recklessness.  

To remove and to rezone, together or apart?

Before the LTC at the July 21 meeting were two Issues each coming with its own Staff Report. The one was about forwarding the PARC application to the ALC, the other was about rezoning the Brinkworthy Lands for the Sportsplex.

The Trust had plotted with PARC for the concurrent consideration by the  LTC of those issues but this does not make it less stupid than it is, because: If the LTC would rezone the land for the Sportsplex, the LTC could not toss the PARC application –  it would have to convey it to the ALC “with recommendation”. On the other hand, if it would send it first to the ALC and the ALC would approve it, the LTC could not refuse rezoning it. This indicates that the “concurrent consideration”  was to help the coalition arm- twist the ALC.

Anyway, the LTC was part and parcel to  “concurrent consideration”  plan prior to that date, July 21. Then, all of a sudden, they discovered, how they did not say, that conveyance to the ALC  and rezoning do not go together like horse and carriage, love and marriage, and other compatible things.

Upon discovering this, they abandoned their pursuit of rezoning. This may be a deployment of  a  form of divide and rule, that of dividing the unpalatable into increments, each one too small to induce unmanageable public reaction.

Trust reasons for judgement

The outcome of the July 21 meeting  was the LTC pushing the PARC Application to the ALC.  Because the Trust refuses to release the “Draft Resolutions” until “approved” along with the meeting minutes at a later meeting, I will copy the LTC decisions from the local newspaper:

“The Salt Spring LTC had determined the provincial Agricultural Land Commission must decide whether playing fields will be permitted at 181 Brinkworthy Rd. in a unanimous vote Thursday, the three member Committee agreed to move the application forward with its support for the Salt Spring Parks and Recreation Commission plan, but said the ALC is the proper body to weigh the property’s potential community value as sports field versus agricultural lands in farm use.

We shouldn’t  make a decision within the mandate of the ALC. They should make that decision”  said trustee George Grams.” (The Driftwood, July 27, 2016, by Elizabeth Nolan. Emphasis added )

What the LTC, Staff and Trustees had “determined” was not that they were transgressing into ALC jurisdiction – it is that they were sinking in a quagmire and wanted out of it; and wanted to pass the buck to the ALC. Imagine the ALC “weighing  the property’s potential community value as sports field versus agricultural lands in farm use.” Imagine them doing that Cost/benefit analysis, from Burnaby, for SaltSpring ...

What they LTC determined was that pushing the multiplex was not making them friends and they moved to escape the consequences by shifting the blame to ALC.

The LTC, after battling the Trust’s own AAPC, after lowering themselves to  firing “irreverent” AAPC member and appointing new ones in the hope of getting AAPC blessing for the removal of the Brinkworthy lands from the ALR; after offending each and every agricultural association of the island; after becoming implicated in wasting  $100,000 on consultants to make the ugly look angelic; after suppressing the freedom of speech of citizens holding views different from theirs and violating the law to suppress democratic debate; they  are now out to pass the buck to others.“It is the devils of the ALC who did it” they are now practice and make ready to chant!

“We shouldn’t  make a decision within the mandate of the ALC. They should make that decision”  said trustee- George Grams.”

Grams was the Trust emissary to wrestle  delegation of authority from the ALC  to the LTC for the latter to remove the Brinkworthy lands from the ALR, surreptitiously, of course, yes he was! It is Grams, who after I exposed his mission for what it was, gave a speech to the LTC explaining the need for the LTC to have power to remove land from the ALR ...

As for Trustee Peter Grove, he uttered the old “it could be worse” adage to the Brinkworthy community . It could be worse than the harm they are causing the community, he said.  A farmer could build  greenhouses he said, and flood the whole neighborhood with light all night,  said he with the authority Trustees command. He should had left this “it can be worse” bit to holly persons to comfort the despaired.

ANTV,  August 3, 2016.

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