Vision's "interpretation" of Vancouver Charter self-serving

Post by Mike Klassen in

14 comments

12_Angry_Men
The jury is still deliberating over Vision's campaign disclosure

Vision Vancouver have broken the law. At least that's how I interpret the way they continue to flout the terms of the Vancouver Charter. However, Vision Vancouver see it differently.

Faithful readers of CityCaucus.com are familiar with our quest to make Vision Vancouver accountable, and in particular requiring them to abide by the rule in the Vancouver Charter which states that if you have information relating to the payment of an election campaign debt (in full or in part) then you must report it within 30 days to the City Clerk.

Vision Vancouver, through the recent statement of their Executive Director Ian Baillie, interpret the rules to mean they only have to report when the debt is paid off IN FULL. This is what Baillie stated to the Vancouver Courier's Mike Howell:

When you pay your debt down, that is when you need to file... We have a [contributors’] list out there, the other parties you don’t know where their money comes from. You know where ours comes from. There you go.

Baillie's testy-sounding response exemplifies Vision's like-it-or-lump-it attitude to scrutiny. They ran on a platform promising openness and transparency, and they promised to rise above petty politics. Of course, in their own Bizarro world Vision are open and accountable.

The Courier's Howell chose to make Coun. Anton's sole fundraiser the object of his report, but Anton rightly pointed out that she's not the one who has bent the rules – Vision has.

Ironically, a member of the Vision Vancouver board – David Eaves – makes it his business to press for openness and accountability in government. He's even given public presentations on how open data can serve Canadian taxpayers by revealing tax frauds and charities scofflaws. Yet the organization he serves as a Director peddles the fiction that they've played by the same rules used by all other candidates – including the NPA, COPE and independents – when they clearly haven't.

Even Howell's story states the rules:

The city Charter says a party has a duty to file a supplementary disclosure statement within 30 days of a party filing its election expenses, if any of the information in the initial disclosure statement has changed...

As we wrote earlier, Section 62 of the Charter states:

A disclosure statement must include the following in relation to the election campaign of the candidate, elector organization or campaign organizer:

(a) the total amount of campaign contributions;

There is no language that states "once the entire debt is paid off," as Baillie and Vision Vancouver would lead you to believe. The Charter says if you have contributions toward paying for your election campaign, you must update the City Clerk within 30 days.

For anyone to truly make Vision Vancouver accountable to the terms of the Vancouver Charter, a formal letter of complaint must be filed with the Vancouver Police Department's Financial Crime Unit, headed up by Sergeant Mark Johnstone. Only then will we see if the ground rules set out for conducting fair elections in our city have any teeth.

There are even questions about the completeness of Vision's most recent disclosure. Peter and Shahram Malek of Millennium Developments are listed by reporter Frances Bula as attending Vision's June fundraiser, yet their names are nowhere to be seen on Vision's July 29th disclosure. Do these guys really get comped tickets for Vision fundraisers?

Of course, the fall back for Vision is to say that because Sam Sullivan raised money and didn't disclose the names, they're within their rights to also hold back the release of their donors. Sullivan never ran for office with the money he raised – Peter Ladner made sure of that.

Sullivan didn't break the rules, but Vision have. And they think they're going to get away with it. Sadly for all of us, they probably will.

- post by Mike

14 Comments

Mike,
Can any voter/citizen file that formal complaint?

Priceless...Bizarro World is cubed!!!

The Vision arrogance continues unabated. Using their crazy logic, they need only hold back paying one person $100 and the whole debt doesn't need to be reported to the public. Truly shocking, but not surprising. These guys truly are starting to sound as arrogant as the Chretien Liberals did at the end of their reign. One set of rules for the elites, and one for the little people.

@George. My take on Mike's post is anybody can contact the Vancouver police and file a complaint. The VPD have to follow-up on it regardless of where it comes from. Are you keen? If so, let us know when you do it and we can all sit back and watch that arrogant little smile fade from the mayor's face as the cops begin a forensic investigation into who has been giving them money and when.

CC deserves credit for keeping the heat on vision for their fundraising tactics. If it were up to the Courier, they'd give vision a pass and be featuring weekly stories on how evil Anton is for living within the law and raising campaign funds. They are shameless.

PS As for Eaves, he should be ashamed to attach his name to a political party that's been so non-open and so non-transparent. He should resign immediately to maintain any bit of credibility he still has.

Isn't Vision a top-down organization with Mayor Moonbeam at the top? If so, Mark Hasiuk's recent article in the Courier reveals some interesting snippets about the guy at the top:
-----------------------------------
"The bloom's off the rose. The phantom's unmasked. The real Gregor Robertson has stood up."

"The mayor is supremely arrogant, and probably a little dim."

"His campaign speeches were empty fluffy things that hung in the air"

"Robertson took the art of nothingness to a whole new level."

"He's a plastic leader with a sneering disdain for public consultation and media participation"

"when hiding under his desk at city hall or during late night hours peering into a glowing laptop, twittering whatever synaptic spasm wafts through his brain."

"In those private moments he also likely conjures thoughts of grandeur."

"Robertson's sure of a few things. He's better than you. They know better than us."
--------------------------------------
And that's Mayor Moonbeam finally providing Vancouverites with some Seinfeld moments! 'Cause they're better than us.

Trent,
You are putting ideas in my head....
anyone else interested?

The Thought Of The Day

"It's official. House of Vision is full of Termites."

Infested. That's the word.
The only thing that keeps up the walls is the paint. Guess who I saw the other day holding a dripping paintbrush while biting from a Baloney Sandwich!
Here's a hint:

'Mirror, mirror on the Float,
Who's the Gayest of Them Lot?'

VV BULLSHITOMETER

I think the idea of having a Vancouver Vision Bullshitometer on the Vancouver City Hall Main Page would be a step in the...left direction. For all to see.

VISION ADDED TAX

In 2008, Vancouver stupidly elected Blurred Vision to take care of business. Since then, a new Tax is showing its ugly head crawling slowly up the compost bin. It's the "Tax For They Know It All".

Don't worry, it's Solomon inspected and approved. See, at the time they failed to inform the voters they'll get in Gregor and Vision 'the worst money could buy'.

VANCOUVER COURIER EPIPHANY

What I read in their last number is either a diversion, an admission of guilt,or perhaps Mark Hasiuk has locked himself in the Editor's Office only to come out after the printed edition hit the newspaper stands. Kudos for him. Generally, he said it as it is. Robertson is a Fake. The Latest, but not the Best and definitely not the Last since Botox or Silicon hit the market.

WHY ROBBY IS SO GREEN

Bike lanes, chicken, compost, bees, patch garden. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

I'll leave you with an allegedly Gregor quote:

"We will be the Greenest City by 2020. Why? Because you know what they are saying (looking at his fellow Councilors)...Wood doesn't grow on Trees!"

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Todd, the bloom isn't off the rose because 1 person at the courier has finally called it for what it is.

The bloom will be off the rose if Allan Garr ever gets back to the type of journalism that gave him a good name in the first place, and pens the same type of material under his name.

George it only takes one complaint. One tiny complaint that the Vancouver Charter has been broken. Then the formal investigation begins. If the mayor's party is under official police investigation, does he have to temporarily step down as chair of the police board? Would he not be in a conflict of interest? Oh dear, this is all getting so sordid.

Sean....good question, I would say it is a conflict of interest, perhaps that is why Vision feels confident that their actions are not questioned.
They do seem to have all the bases covered so to speak.
Can you remember who was on the police board when the investigation at City Hall for the missing report from council chambers was investigated?
I believe....
Never and Forever, don't really exist.
Only not yet, and so far....

George:

Has this 'thought' gone anywhere?

Hi Max,
Thought still in my head, but I'm looking for some guidance.....

Has anyone actually followed through and filed a complaint with the VPD? If not I'm ready to. All this "all show, no go" is starting to get to me. I'm actually not sure how in a city this size that someone hasn't pushed this issue already. It's time to "Nut up or shut up"!

Hi Andrew and George:

I'm in.

I can meet you at the 'station' at any given time.

M.

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