UPDATE: The Langley Times jumped the gun by posting incorrect facts last Thursday before interviewing the TOL lawyer to get the true story! They went back to the drawing board on its story on Athenry / de Raadt and the Information and Privacy Commissioner……..

Posted: September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Why are our local media so willing to go along with the corporate line from the Township of Langley and its lawyers, especially when it appears to be so wrong or at the very least very questionable, without the slightest hint of any challenging questions?

Langley Township “respects” ruling of privacy commissioner… so says the Langley Times!

Now if that isn’t dancing on the head of a pin, I don’t know what is!

After reading this latest epistle in today’s Langley Times which in my view is a feeble attempt to set the record straight, I am not sure if I have a greater feeling of despair for the taxpayers of the Township of Langley or anger at our council, senior staff and their legal counsel? For three years I had first-hand experience at the agility of the Township senior staff and their legal counsel to rationalize and defend their actions and selling it to members of council. The most interesting observation of that experience is how willing members of council were to fall into line. Not one of them (Davis excluded) has a mind of their own.

I have a copy and have reviewed and read the petition submitted by the Petitioner – The Corporation of the Township by Bull Housser & Tupper LLP. Just for the hell of it, let’s review the three points below. I offer a reasoned argument against the statements (legal speak) made to or by the Langley Times.

Consider….

OH so many questions to the points that follow left unanswered by the Langley Times…. Here are just a few –

  1. “…. the documents were provided to de Raadt to show “respect” for the commissioners decision while the legal action was launched because the Order could set a problem-creating precedent if it is allowed to stand”. WHAT!!!

Response – If you respected the commissioners decision there would be no Court Petition filed. What possible precedent could this set? They state “among other things”? That is a catch all phrase until they can think of something else to throw against the wall! They state “It would be difficult for the municipality to keep it’s position secret during bargaining with outside contractors”. Come on you guys, where did you dig that up from? What possible affect could the work done by a private contractor for a private development company have on the Township bargaining with outside contractors? Talk about trying to rationalize a position, what a stretch!

  1. Goulden (Township’s lawyer) goes on to say “We’re not trying to keep them (the Athenry documents) a secret”. WHAT!!!

ResponseIf you are not trying to keep them secret why the denial of the FOI request in the first place? Obviously you are trying to keep them a secret because of your statement above re a precedent, which is nothing but a smokescreen.

  1. Goulden says, the court action was not a lawsuit directed against either de Raadt or the commissioner, but a petition requesting the court rule on an “important” issue raised by the order. WHAT!!!

Response – Why is Jacob de Raadt named in this petition? He was nothing more than a citizen requesting information that was being denied. He followed his rights to appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner. For taking advantage of his rights he gets to be named a Respondent in a Petition filed by the Township. As this action states “Orders, including orders granting the relief claimed, may be made against you, without any further notice to you, if you fail to file the Response to Petition within the time for Response.”

Part 1 ORDERS SOUGHT (The following is abbreviated)

The Petitioner, the Corporation of the Township of Langley (the Township) seeks:

  1. A declaration that the Township is entitled to withhold drafts of contracts…..
  2. The Order to release the documents be quashed….
  3. An order extending the automatic 120 day stay of the Order……
  4. Costs; and
  5. Such further relief and other relief as this Honourable Court deems just.

So in summary, I am not a lawyer nor do I pretend to be one BUT any Petition to the Courts that singles out an individual for exercising their democratic rights and incorporates the term “costs” and “relief” under Orders sought I have serious concern with, as should all taxpayers. By being named as a Respondent to this Petition is Mr. de Raadt required to attend the proceedings with a lawyer? (Cost to him) At the very least it would require him to seek legal advice to respond to this action. (Cost to him)

Does this whole thing not smack of intimidation gone wild? Add this to the new rules of the Council Chamber making your house a silent sterile environment, the banning of Jacob de Raadt from Council Chambers, the banning of residents surrounding Athenry from communicating to TOL staff and Council members. So what is next, a special pass to allow you to view Council proceedings? It is frankly obscene!

Important – Is this what you voted for? Where is our local press in being the conscience of the residents of the Township and City of Langley? Are editorial or journalistic decisions made with one eye on the significant weekly Township communications budget?

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

 

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Comments
  1. Mei Lin Yeoell says:

    Awesome!

  2. Mike MacDonald says:

    Who do the citizens of Langley go to when the Townshipmis abusing powers and bulling people who question them? We need the same proceedures that are taking down deals in other areas like Montreal etc. I think everyone reading this should request this same information. It’s public. Dam I hate bullies.

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