City hears from new political party, parks group

The L.A.W. party tells council they should hold secret ballots, while Barb Tetz vies for new park

  • Mon Jul 20th, 2015 11:00am
  • News

L.A.W.

There’s a new provincial political party that has sprung from the northwest, one that aims to end government investment in the fossil fuel industry and bring women and aboriginal people to the forefront of government.

Introduced by local writer Merv Ritchie to city council at the July 13 meeting, the party is called The Land Air Water Party of British Columbia and is officially registered with Elections BC.

The party has no single leader per se and  candidates for elections are decided by local First Nations matriarchs as was customary in pre-contract society, Ritchie explained to council.

“All governance decisions by municipal, regional, or other districts elected or administrative body must have these decisions ratified by the local indigenous nation traditional authority,” says his policy statement.

Accompanying Ritchie to council were other L.A.W. members including local artist Matthew Daratha and Martin Holzbauer.

“All transportation of petroleum products will be in an undiluted, cold, non-pressurized, fully contained state. Diluted bitumen, transported by any method, will be denied entry into British Columbia,” reads the party’s platform.

Mayor Carol Leclerc wished the group luck.

The party policy says that L.A.W “will implement secret ballots (a foundation of democracy)” at the governance level.

City councillor James Cordeiro said after the meeting that such a policy would lead to corruption because politicians could then say one thing but vote another way in the secret ballot.

However, Ritchie told council that voting by elected officials is biased because increasingly they are told to keep to a party line, or otherwise feel the recrimination from their fellow officials, which is why L.A.W advocates for a secret ballot.

New park wanted

With the city having announced a parks study to be undertaken soon, one local resident is already having her say about where a new park might or should be located.

Barb Tetz made her presentation on behalf of her urban gardening group, and is calling for a small city-owned lot at the bottom of Lanfear Hill at 5012 be rezoned to a parks designation from the current residential category.

“This lot has been left vacant since a fire burned a house down I believe some 30 years ago,” said Tetz.

“It has evidently posed a fire threat because of kids going into this area and smoking [in the tall grass]. This has further motivated us to clean it up so the lot could be mowed.”

“You’re just a little bit ahead of us,” said Mayor Carol Leclerc in response to Tetz’s presentation. “We’re planning to do a parks study this year.”

Tetz said that she has people who are willing to help install a picnic area with tables at the site if council indicates through the study that a park can be created at the site.