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General · 16th November 2011
Anne Milne
Nov. 16, 2011
I am shocked by and tired of the use of attack campaigning during this regional election. I believe that campaigning parties should focus on what they bring to the table, not on attempting to disgrace or disparage the opponent. On Monday Nov. 14, 2011, a leaflet was delivered to postal box holders in Quathiaski Cove (and to Heriot Bay residents as well). The leaflet was mostly an attack against the incumbent Jim Abram.

In this flyer Mr. O'Connor tells us that he has seen “projects being rejected after lengthy and costly consultation”, and that he has found “a common thread: prejudge, preconceive and pretend.” To back his statements, Mr. O'Connor cites a question put forth by Phil Stone about the Alterra-GE Bute Inlet hydro-electric project. Jim states openly that he is against this project. I am very confused by Mr. O'Connor's claim that Jim made up his mind “before any formal proceedings, the environmental assessment, or business plan has been presented.” This project has had environmental assessments completed, has gone to public and Native Band consultation, and the business plan is being assessed at the provincial and federal levels of government. There is a wealth of information on this project available to anyone who wishes to review it. Preconceive and prejudge? Only if one refuses to use the resources available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

Mr. O'Connor also claims that Jim was responsible for the lack of public consultation on the library move to Quathiaski Cove from Heriot Bay. The Library Board was responsible for the process, all consultation, and the final decision. This has nothing to do with the Regional Director.

The only thing on the flyer that has anything to do with what Mr. O'Connor promises to do is on the bottom line. The words “Honesty, Integrity, Transparency” are in large, bold type. Jim Abram has worked with honesty, integrity, and transparency for the better part of two decades. I do not feel I need to address all three of these concepts. I would, however, like to look at the transparency issue.
Jim publishes a Regional Director's Report monthly. In it he tells us what projects are on the burner, how far along they are, and when we can expect completion. If a project is moving forward to the provincial or federal level, he lets us know how to follow the progress. He lists his email, office phone numbers and the hours he is available. This is transparency at its best. On the other hand, when I go to Mr. O'Connor's voteforshawnoconnor.com website, I find that he has removed the section about his current employment. When it was there it stated that he is currently the CEO of the We Wai Kai Shellfish Corp. Mr. O’Connor does not mention conflict of interest anywhere in the current flyer. Given the the great divide in islanders' opinions on the scallop farm issues, being the CEO of that corporation is a big conflict of interest, is it not?

Besides the conflict, being the Regional Director is a full-time position. Will Mr. O'Connor give up his position with the scallop farm if elected? Jim works close to a sixty hour week between his office work and meetings.

Be sure to vote on November 19. A vote for Jim Abram is a vote for honesty, integrity, and transparency. A vote for Jim Abram will help insure that the many projects underway are completed without a glitch. A vote for Jim Abram is a vote for Quadra Island.
Process for Moving A VIRL location
Comment by Jodi Simkin on 17th November 2011
The process for moving a Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) location is clearly outlined in the VIRL Board Policy – Facility Decision Process.

It states in part:
First Step – the VIRL sends a letter to local government annually with priority list and service model guidelines
Second Step – Local Government responds confirming their readiness/desire for expansion or new facility
Third Step – VIRL staff review and make recommendations to the VIRL Board
Fourth Step – VIRL Board approval to proceed with the planning process
FIFTH STEP – LOCAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRED TO JOINTLY WITH THE VIRL, UNDERTAKE PUBLIC CONSULTATION

For a complete review of the VIRL Facility Decision Process flowchart, visit http://virl.bc.ca/sites/default/files/images/announcements/Facility%20Decision%20Process.pdf

As a point of clarity, at no time was information pertaining to Mr. O’Connor’s employment status ever posted on the voteforshawnoconnor.com webpage.