Park Commissioner Barnes a no show for court hearing

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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Constance Barnes didn't have to face Judge Judy today as she was a no show in court.

Vision Vancouver Park Board commissioner Constance Barnes was set to face the music today and plead guilty to driving while intoxicated. Barnes revealed a few weeks ago that she was responsible for driving into the home of a Vancouver resident while under the influence of alcohol. She is the second elected official from the Vision caucus to admit to drinking and driving on city streets. Councillor Tim Stevenson admitted he drove over the limit and he subsequently lost his drivers license in 2007.

Barnes was placed on the provincial court calendar to appear before a judge today at 2 pm. However, neither Barnes nor her lawyer showed up to court. It was left to crown counsel to advise the judge that the proceedings couldn't take place and request that Barnes return to court in about three weeks to submit her plea.

One source stated "Constance didn't show up to court because she is currently out of town in rehab." Barnes is currently on a leave of absence from her Park Board post, but we have been unable to confirm if she continues to receive full pay for her duties as a commissioner.

It took Barnes two weeks to advise the public of her drunk driving incident and at a news conference she told the media:

I have made a serious mistake and I take full responsibility for my actions. No one should drink and drive. I was fortunate no one was hurt by my actions and you have my commitment that it will never, ever happen again.

Barnes works as the marketing manager for the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver and was first elected to the Park Board in 2008. She topped the polls with a margin of over 4000 votes compared to her nearest rival Aaron Jasper. Barnes was widely considered as Vision's "star candidate" on the Park Board slate given she was the daughter of NDP MLA Emery Barnes, a former BC Lions hero.

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