By Roy L Hales
Response to the Cortes Marketer, regarding the statement that the Legal Petition does not accuse Director Anderson or her constituents of bribery. ( page 3 of the May 17 -24, Cortes Marketer)
Definition of Bribery
According to Global Anti-bribery Guidance: “There is no universal definition of bribery but all definitions have in common that it involves someone in an appointed position acting voluntarily in breach of trust in exchange for a benefit. The benefit does not have to involve cash or a payment exchanging hands. It can take many forms such as lavish gifts, hospitality and expenses, access to assets or a favour made to a relative, friend or favoured cause.” – https://www.antibriberyguidance.org/guidance/5-what-bribery/guidance
The Legal Petition says: “ … Anderson took money from her constituents for personal gain and a number of those same constituents received gifts and grants in return.” – http://www.daclarke.org/Cortes/Petition.pdf
The petition goes on to cite 12 people as examples of this, of which:
- 7 examples immediately fall apart when examined on a factual basis.
- The “case” against the remaining 5 examples is built on unsubstantiated evidences and innuendo.
- The petitioners did not prove that ANY of the 12 cited individuals obtained personal benefit. When the petitioners tried to do this, their “evidence” is invariably false.
- Not a single serving director from any of the Cortes organizations cited as 2018 Grant-in-Aid recipients in the petition, contributed to the GoFundMe campaign. The directors cited in the petition were either no longer serving in that capacity, belonged to an organization that was not in the 2018 Grant-in-Aid program, or were not directors.
- The petition contains dozens of factual errors, ranging from misspelling names to representing people as holding positions they no longer held. (In two cases, the examples were said to hold positions they have never held ).
- For details of the statements above, see The Legal Petitions Factual Errors – https://cortescurrents.ca/the-legal-petitions-factual-errors/
One of Three Attacks
The petition was one of the three actions launched after Noba Anderson was re-elected on October 20, 2018.
- Someone reported that the property that Noba Anderson and her husband share with three other owners is not zoned properly. While the timing of this complaint is suspicious and there are said to be a great many other Cortes properties in violation of the bylaw, the report is never-the-less correct. Anderson and the three other offending property owners will now each need to spend thousands of dollars to come into compliance.
- An anonymous informant, or group of informants, reported 43 cases of alleged voter fraud to the RCMP. The subsequent RCMP investigation “was not able to substantiate” a single case of voter fraud. – See RCMP report https://agenda.strathconard.ca/SRDAttachments/SRDBoard/Open/BRD/13-Mar-19/20190225-Voting-Fraud-Investigation—Cortes-Island.PDF
- The legal petition’s stated intent is “that Anderson be disqualified from holding office until the next general local election.” See the Legal Petition http://www.daclarke.org/Cortes/Petition.pdf
Viewed as a whole, these actions appear to be a malicious attack primarily directed against Director Anderson.
Three groups also suffered collateral damage from the legal petition:
- The reputations of half of Cortes Island’s organizations were maligned in this document. Strathcona Regional Director Brenda Leigh reiterated some of the petition’s misinformation when she spoke against the Klahoose Nation receiving a grant-in-aid on April 25, 2019: “a lot of  Grants in Aid that went out to people who contributed to the GoFundMe campaign. I don’t think it is ethical to do that and I won’t be voting in favour of it because I feel there shouldn’t even be a perception of any kind of kickback.” (Note: Most of the SRD Board disagreed with Leigh’s interpretation and the Klahoose Grant-in- Aid was approved. See https://cortescurrents.ca/klahoose-grant-in-aid-approved/)
- The petitioners have brought their own integrity and credibility into question, created a climate of mistrust, and polarized much of Cortes Society into two camps. Around half of Cortes Island’s adult population signed the Open Letter written in response to their legal action. (On the plus side, they made a large number of people who were largely apathetic pay attention to island politics.)
- Lastly, as the petitioners have been so strongly identified with an anti-hall tax position, it is difficult for people with legitimate concerns about the proposed tax to express themselves. (So we need to ensure those legitimate concerns are identified and, in-so-far as is possible, addressed.)