SRD Censures Director Anderson

(Originally published October 31, 2019, and revised on Nov 1 & 2, 2019.)

I was directed to a Tideline post stating the SRD censures Director Anderson.

October 24 SRD Hearing

The clearest explanation of this action is found in the minutes of the Oct 24, 2019, SRD Board meeting, where it states:

“THAT the Board disapproves of Director Anderson’s conduct in revealing confidential and privileged information, specifically the February 18, 2019 report by Creative Solutions Risk Management Consulting and the February 19, 2019 and March 14, 2019 legal opinions prepared for the Regional District by Kathryn Stuart of Stuart, McDannold and Stewart, contrary to the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018 …”

SRD Censures Director Anderson
Start of the Peterson Report’s executive summary, on page 2 – courtesy SRD webite

While most of the details are withheld from us, “due to the sensitivity of the confidential in-camera reports,” the SRD’s post in the Tideline adds that:

” … Director Anderson and her legal representation were given the opportunity to speak to and respond to the allegations and censure motions. At the conclusion of the hearing the SRD Board of Directors deemed that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Director Anderson released 2 in-camera legal opinions and an investigation report (known as the Peterson Report) without the Boards authority.”  

My Translation

To put this in simpler language: the SRD Board carried out a secret hearing which concluded that Director Anderson showed an unknown person, or persons, two secret legal opinions and a secret report about the legal petition designed to remove her from office.

As regards the petition itself, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled “There is no basis for the declarations sought by the petitioners.”

Am I The Recipient Of The Peterson Report?

SRD Censures Director Anderson
page 10 of the Peterson Report – courtesy SRD website

As I wrote the only known media coverage of the Peterson report, I wondered if I am also be the supposed recipient of this document? My account (which you can access here) is about the heavily redacted version that the SRD board released in the attachments (agenda & minutes) for their May 22, 2019 meeting and was published three days later.

I emailed the SRD board, pointing out that if I am the alleged recipient – they just made a big mistake.

Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch replied, “Any suspicions that you are in any way connected to or are a part of a Censure process that the SRD Board is or has been engaged in is a myth.  There is absolutely no truth to the speculation you are relying on.”

He added, “I ask that moving forward you please respect that the Directors cannot speak any further to the details of the concluded censure process and that future emails containing speculative questions looking for answers cannot be responded to.”

Who Did Noba Show The Report To?

Which brings me back to the question: who is Noba supposed to have shown the presumably unredacted Peterson report to? Was it a trusted advisor? Or a personal acquaintance? Are we talking about Noba showing one or two people in what she thought was confidence? More? How many people actually saw it?

How did the SRD come to know of this?

As the unredacted document is still withheld from public view, how serious is this alleged disclosure?

So What Happens Next?

The SRD demands Director Anderson, “issue a written apology to the Board acknowledging her transgressions against the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018 with respect to maintaining confidentiality.”

Some Cortes residents, who hold Noba accountable for any number of a variety of issues (ranging from the hall tax, to the noise in Gorge Harbour or the way she attempted to push through the zoning bylaw in 2018), will seize upon this opportunity to blacken her name.

Poll in the November 1, 2019 Cortes Marketer

A weekly flyer published by one of the legal petitioners, the Cortes Marketer, is asking its readership whether Director Noba Anderson should resign.

My Opinion

Personally, I am waiting for Noba’s response.

Over the months since we first learned of the legal petition, I have come to respect Director Anderson as a credible person who places great value on speaking the truth, as she sees it. I have seen attempts to remove her, with evidences that fall apart when you examine them. I have also witnessed evidences of behind the scenes maneuvering at the SRD committee level.

Then there is whole culture of secrecy which the SRD Board operates in. It does not seem fair that someone the Supreme Court of British Columbia found innocent can be subsequently found guilty, and sentenced, for allegedly showing some unknown person(s) the (secret) evidence.

SRD Censures Director Anderson
Screenshot of an unredacted segment from page 12 of the Peterson Report – courtesy SRD website. Note: Though Petersen includes Cortes Radio and the ESS in his list of the seven organizations mentioned in the Legal Petition, neither applied for a Grant in Aid that year. (Click here to see the actual list of applicants).

SRD Censures Director Anderson

Here is the SRD’s motion to censure, as moved by Directors Abram and Unger and carried by the board:

THAT the Board disapproves of Director Anderson’s conduct in revealing confidential and privileged information, specifically the February 18, 2019 report by Creative Solutions Risk Management Consulting and the February 19, 2019 and March 14, 2019 legal opinions prepared for the Regional District by Kathryn Stuart of Stuart, McDannold and Stewart, contrary to the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018; and

“THAT Director Anderson be directed to comply with s.117 of the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018 in the future; and

THAT, for the remainder of her current term of office, Director Anderson be excluded from being appointed to any select committees established by the Board or any public hearing delegations established by the Board except for public hearing delegations established to consider matters affecting Electoral Area B; and

THAT, for the remainder of her current term of office, Director Anderson be excluded from being designated, nominated or appointed by the Regional Board to any external organization or agency to represent the interests of the Regional District; and

THAT Director Anderson be required to issue a written apology to the Board acknowledging her transgressions against the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018 with respect to maintaining confidentiality; and

THAT Director Anderson be required to take additional training for elected officials regarding the rules of confidentiality associated with her position as a Director of the Regional District.

Image at top of page: Screenshot of beginning of the executive summary, on page 2 of the Craig Peterson report – courtesy SRD website

2 thoughts on “SRD Censures Director Anderson”

  1. Thank you Roy. So many questions are unanswered. Its very difficult to understand the SRD’s action on this. You would think the SRD would be trying to support our Regional Director, given everything she has been through, including frivolous legal action, and she is still out of pocket on defending herself against this legally. How can we be sure the SRD is serving Cortes as they should? Full disclosure makes a lot of sense, so that we can decide for ourselves.

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