No voting conflict, say Terrace mayor and councillors

Elected officials have no direct interest in business bylaw outcome

MAYOR Carol Leclerc and two councillors stand on their freedom to vote on the city’s proposed bylaw to regulate food vendors, as their connections to local restaurants did not alter their vote.

Leclerc voted in favour of the bylaw which would increase vendor fees and restrict their locations and hours, and said that while her son-in-law, Tyson Hull, is an owner of Mumford’s Beerhouse and Grill on Hwy16, the proposed bylaw affects all businesses.

“This is a broader thing. It’s not specifically targeted at Mumfords… The bylaw is for all the businesses in Terrace,” said Leclerc.

Councilor James Cordeiro, a shareholder in Xanders Coffee downtown also voted in favour of the bylaw, said it was not a conflict of interest because the proposed changes came from city staff seeking a balance for the good of the city.

“It is a recommendation from staff, made independent of myself,” he said.

Councillor Sean Bujtas, the assistant general manager at Chances Terrace, which operates a restaurant, voted against the bylaw. He said it was not a conflict of interest because it affects all businesses.

“This bylaw is licensing, regulations and fees for all businesses, making it too broad to be a conflict,” he said. “If this bylaw was strictly to do with pubs, then I would need to excuse myself.”

None of the three would directly earn more money due to bylaw changes, and section 104 of the Community Charter says that conflict of interest does not apply if the financial interest is remote, distant and insignificant.

Max Cameron, a political science professor at UBC, said there are several considerations.

“If it does not benefit them, although it does benefit the municipality by raising tax revenue, that’s fine,” explained Cameron.

The key questionis the motive behind any policy change and whether the intent is to reduce competition or to establish tax fairness for businesses, he said.

An important point to consider is the source of a policy change. “If this comes from staff, who think this is consistent with fair tax policy, and even some of the mobile vendors say that it is fair… if it is something that does not have the intent of benefiting a particular group of people rather, benefiting everyone generally, [then it is not a conflict of interest],” he said.






Just Posted

Terrace could see seven new physicians by September

A senior Northern Health official hopes to double their manpower by spring

Terrace man arrested in Stewart after police seize drugs, gun

The 44-year old was released on a promise to appear

Kitsumkalum Walk for Health raises $17,500 for new hospital microscope

The 5 km walk is a new take on a 10-year old fundraiser for Mills Memorial

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicious Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan


A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Most Read