Archive for October, 2018

Residents and Taxpayers of the Township of Langley have had a lot to think about over the past FOUR years in terms of what has happened to their community or their municipality as a whole and WHY? The actions of our current Council have given me a lot to personally pause and consider in making my choice for Council FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS! I know personally the trials and tribulations of serving as your Mayor, how getting along with and being respectful with everyone would be wonderful; unfortunately, certainly in my case, that was impossible given their commitment from the outset to get rid of me. You see, contrary to what you hear from the majority of this Council, saying NO to staff, saying NO to developers and those with outside influence in particular is MUCH more difficult than saying YES, I am living proof!

Change? As I said above “Change begins with Choice”, or as the old saying goes, and it continues to be very true “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results”.

So to the question and reasons behind a desire for change, please consider the question, what has this Council accomplished? Where have they disappointed us?

The following list of incidents, failed promises and public comments, in my view, cannot be dismissed as something that was just said in the heat of the campaign or when dealing with the issue at hand. The following are in no particular order, it is strictly random, but most important, all of the following are TRUE!

Promised Indoor Pool for Aldergrove – Received an Outdoor Pool! The ultimate blow and INSULT, after producing a campaign video that in his own words called for an Indoor Pool in Aldergrove – Jack Froese proceeds with building an Outdoor Pool which is the LIE heard around Aldergrove! Supported by ALL members of Council in a non-public meeting, which is illegal!

LEC Expansion of $7.5 Million No public dialogue, No public process, approval behind closed doors and No public announcement, that is the way things are done in the Township. As a matter of fact it took an inquiry from the media to the Mayor two weeks after construction began before it was openly announced.

Redevelopment of Old Mall in Aldergrove – Letter released from Councilor Bob Long indicating Council support for a plan contrary to the adopted Aldergrove Core Community Plan. The adopted Core Community Plan was adopted unanimously by a resident based committee and the Council of the day. This Council supports a plan showing nothing more than a series of strip malls! Aldergrove deserves better!

The sterilization of Council Meetings! This council by resolution will not allow any spontaneous public reaction to votes and/or public presentations by the public. A Council chambers must have decorum BUT it is not a court room, their actions are not inviting for members of our community to attend and participate in any public discussion as a delegation or presenter to Public Hearings. The public deserve better!

This Council supports members of Council bidding on Township business! There can be nothing more obvious than this being a Conflict of Interest! Perceived or legal it doesn’t matter, IT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

The Township of Langley is THE WORST performing major municipal government in B.C. Released Sept. 11th, 2018 – In the latest 2018 Ten year well researched study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Township of Langley is the worst performing of the 20 major Municipal Governments, 20th out of 20.

The Township of Langley’s performance is 103rd out of all 152 communities, towns, cities and municipalities in B.C. this year, last year we were 96th! Released Sept. 11th, 2018Not only have we rated poorly we are going backward, NOT getting better.

The hidden reality of slate politics in the Township of Langley! In most Cities and Municipalities they are upfront with their reality of running slates. In the Township of Langley we have the reality created over the years by back room power brokers to select who will be running in their version of non-slate slate politics. You have to give them credit, it has worked well, in reality they have been perpetrating a fraud on the public in the Township for years. This was all founded from the highly contentious and ugly McMullen / Scholtens campaign fight of the late 90s early 2000s. For those who aren’t aware you should read up on it. Never-the-less today we have the Froese Slate – Jack Froese, Blair Whitmarsh, Angie Quaale, Margaret Kuntz, Bev Dornan and Michael Pratt.

Community Planning Process is Top Down! We have an endless number of examples of Top Down Planning in the Township. Brookswood / Fernridge, Willoughby, Aldergrove and Fort Langley. During the last two elections our Mayor promised a Community Consultation Process which has never materialized. Their public consultation has not changed and has been a dismal failure! Your community’s OCP and Zoning is NOT safe with this Council, we are all paying the price!

Public statement made by Mayor Jack Froese (Insert his slate here)“I don’t make decisions based on petitions or public hearing turnout, I have to consider all of those who didn’t attend” – Jack Froese to Pete McMartin (Van. Sun) over Coulter Berry decision.

Public statement made by Mayor Jack Froese (Insert his slate here)“Parents need to teach their children how to safely cross the street” in reference to their being no crosswalks on 216th Street – Jack Froese to resident (Langley Times letter to the editor)

Public statement made by Mayor Jack Froese (Insert his slate here)“There would be safety initiatives taking place”, when asked what they would be, Froese said “he didn’t know” – Jack Froese to resident (Langley Times letter to the editor)

Public statement made by Mayor Jack Froese (Insert his slate here)Residents stating that they hoped his attendance at the meeting would address their concerns. “Meeting, what meeting? I thought I was coming to a pancake breakfast.” – Jack Froese to resident re 216th street community gathering. (Langley Times letter to the editor)

Public statement made by Mayor Jack Froese (Insert his slate here)“it is not his job to do what his constituents want but what is best for them” – I guess Jack knows best – NOT! Jack Froese to resident (Langley Times letter to the editor)

So, how are we going to change how our municipal government is managed and run? It all comes down to “Making a Different Choice” in this election. Continuing with the same gang that has put us in this situation will only continue to cause our communities distress in how we are being listened to and dealt with by the powers that be.

Who to vote for? Remember, this vote (Your Vote) is for FOUR years and a lot can happen during a mandate of this length, it is not something to be considered lightly. What does the candidate stand for? What is their experience? If they are currently on Council, what is their voting record? If they are currently on Council, what about their public performance with the general public (not just with their small school of vocal supporters) at public gatherings? As a delegation to Council? As a resident speaking at Public Hearings?

Over the course of the campaign I have had about seven phone calls from candidates asking to meet and discuss their campaign and to get my opinions and views on what is happening in the Township of Langley. My choices below do not reflect my meetings with them. (More have not been selected than have been in the following list.)

A lot goes into “Your Choice which will bring about Change”, which is what we need; your Municipality is counting on you! 

I want to make one thing clear, I am not nor have I been working with or for any candidate running for Council. Having been in the Mayor’s chair I obviously have a strong feeling about how the Township should be run, based on personal experience that was up close and personal. My choices clearly, after you read them, are not ALL based on personal likes which have been more than demonstrated in my BLOG Post writings on many issues.

With all of the above being said, MY CHOICES for a good Council are….

For Mayor:

Anna Remenik:

Anna is informed, active in the community and clearly understands the issues! Anna tells the truth unlike our current Mayor.


For Councilor (in order of my choice):

David Davis:

1A – A great guy, 3rd generation (or more?) Township of Langley Dairy Farmer committed to his community. Very strong reputation for following the issues and doing what is right for his community. I know for a fact David is a very strong INDEPENDENT VOICE!

Harold Whittell:

1B – Very informed, very active, understands the issues and has done his homework. Harold brings with him experience and knowledge in running and owning a successful business. I know for a fact Harold to be a very strong INDEPENDENT VOICE!

Kerri Ross:

Kerri ran in the 2014 election and has shown herself to be active, involved and knowledgeable about the issues affecting our community. She would make a great addition to Council. I know for a fact Kerri to be a very strong INDEPENDENT VOICE!

Gail Chaddock Costello:     

I had never met Gail prior to a request to have a coffee with her which provided me the opportunity to question her about her knowledge of issues and intentions for Public Office. She has proven leadership experience in her background. I know for a fact Gail to be a very strong INDEPENDENT VOICE!

Eric Woodward:

Anyone who has been reading my BLOG will probably be shocked at this selection, however I believe Eric would be a good addition. I know some friends (hope they still are friends after this) won’t appreciate this selection. I won’t rehash my past comments but I will say emphatically we need an individual with a strong personality that can and will challenge staff. Our very senior staff have been the problem for a couple of decades, it is getting worse and needs to be challenged. Eric has some interesting ideas which should be explored at the Council table. As one of nine members of Council he is only one vote, but the positive effects outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

Kim Richter:

Well, once again, those who read my BLOG will probably be shocked at this selection. As most are aware she is personally responsible for costing me $25,000 in after tax dollars against Township policy. Having said that she has been the conscience of Council, very frustrating to other members of Council, but a necessary ingredient in the mix none the less. She has to learn to pursue issues beyond the rhetoric at the Council table. I am hoping with the election of the foregoing Kim Richter will find a way to work with the other members of Council, who DO NOT represent a slate as currently is the case.

Petrina Arnason:

Petrina is very well meaning and works hard to represent the taxpayers and voters of the Township of Langley. I believe with a better mix of representation Petrina will have more courage than what we have seen to-date.


And that is it! We will only be voting for 7 candidates for Council as listed above and for the reasons I state. Those I have selected above are true independents, not a slate that presently exists. Serving on Council is not an easy job. You are on display and on trial for all to see daily and weekly for the most part. Residents, developers, community activists, the opposition, friends, neighbors and relatives, but that is the job! If you are not up for it don’t run and if you hear anyone on Council whining about their lot in life don’t vote for them.

I can say emphatically that it can also be the most rewarding opportunity you could ever have should you be so lucky to win. I don’t think anyone that I can think of has gone through a rougher term than yours truly has however I wouldn’t change a thing for any money! As I have said numerous times in recent posts I had a decision to make on EVERY issue I faced while Mayor, it is easy to capitulate and go along with all the others, it is far more difficult to stand your ground and say NO, when you know you are right!



I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to the Province, the Region and the Municipality, 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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So readers of this BLOG will have read my previous BLOG Post titled Township of Langley “Firefighters were hired to Serve and Protect… NOT TO SERVE AND ELECT!” This issue is a very contentious issue with residents of the Township and frankly most communities in B.C., it is very unfair to taxpayers / voters as well as candidates who have been willing to put their names forward for consideration –

The following response was posted the other night which presumably outlines the position of the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) with respect to their involvement in politics at all levels. I am taking their response below and will respond to their position in RED (My response) and you can decide for yourself. Now remember our very strong objection is their selection of which candidates to endorse with no rationale given for their reasons and their public advertising campaign in support of their chosen candidates.

From what we have been able to determine, the choices have been made for a reason still yet to be identified. Just ask yourself the question, for what reason would the firefighters give this kind of support UNLESS there was an agreement to receive something back in kind? There whole process smacks of a hidden deal / agenda in favor of something? What is it? Do you want your council members to be in a position of owing their election to the firefighters for their support? Remember Council ultimately is the body to approve their labor contract! Council is elected to represent ALL taxpayers – not members of a union, because that is what this is, nothing more, nothing less!


From Justin Smith IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) 3:07pm Oct 9

Fortunately for some of us the IAFF is a little more open minded and democratic than others. Political action equals: legislation to cover firefighters who suffer from PTSD, coverage for job related cancers, funds for task forces that go across Canada and other places to secure and help people during floods, earthquakes, forest fires etc. The funding for these things will not just be kindly offered to Fire Depts. they must be constantly fought for and that means political action.

Response: “95%” or more of ALL candidates running support ALL of the above!   

IAFF Endorsement Philosophy
The IAFF believes, respects and celebrates the absolute right of every IAFF member to vote for the candidate that he or she feels best represents and embraces that individual’s views and political philosophy. No one, including your union, has a right to tell you how to vote.

Response: We totally agree!

Similarly, the IAFF will never criticize any member for his or her choice of candidate. We recognize that there are many issues that are important to all IAFF members – beyond fire service and labor issues, and the IAFF respects its members’ right to vote for candidates who have not won the endorsement of the IAFF or your local affiliate.

Response: We totally agree!

However, just like IAFF members review the history, positions and platform of each candidate and make a decision based on that information, so does the IAFF.

This union views candidates through a very narrow focus. Decisions are predicated on how candidates stand on fire fighter and labor issues, such as collective bargaining rights, protection of fair labor standards (FLSA) and overtime rights, pay fairness and equity for federal fire fighters, presumption of disability for federal fire fighters, funding for first responder initiatives, full funding of the FIRE Act and SAFER programs, protection of pension and Social Security benefits, and protection and extension of health care benefits for active and retired members, to name a few.

Response: “95%” or more of ALL candidates running support ALL of the above! 

These are the types of issues that IAFF FIREPAC focuses on when making decisions on whether or not to support a candidate. IAFF FIREPAC does not and will not base its decisions on issues such as Second Amendment rights, reproductive rights, the environment or other social issues that many of our members hold firm beliefs about.

Response: “95%” or more of ALL candidates running support ALL of the above! 

The IAFF has one mission: to improve the lives and livelihoods of professional fire fighters. We know that one of the most important ways we represent our members is in the legislatures at all levels of government – because that’s where most of the decisions are made that have an impact on our members and their jobs. That’s why we play hard in politics – so that we help get people elected who will push our legislative agenda forward. In that role, this union is an advocacy group similar to the NRA, Christian Coalition, Sierra Club, Chamber of Commerce, National League of Cities, etc. Our range of issues is very specific. No one should expect or accept it if the NRA based endorsements on fire fighter bargaining rights. Likewise, no one expects the Christian Coalition to base its support of candidates on funding the FIRE Act or SAFER grants. Consequently, no one should expect the IAFF to base its endorsement on anything other than its specific set of issues.

Response: Clearly the IAFF is based on the U.S. form and style of government, never the less there is and was nothing in questionnaires distributed to candidates in our Municipal Election Campaign that dealt with any of the above. So again, what was said and by who which made this local union decide against endorsing them? I would suggest very strongly there was nothing! Jack Froese was apparently not at this meeting!

While you may personally disagree with an IAFF endorsement and believe that another candidate better represents your own viewpoint on issues important to you, please be mindful that the IAFF endorsement is about the candidate’s stance on fire service and labor issues. And, just like the IAFF respects your right to vote for the candidate of your choosing, we ask for the same respect concerning the IAFF’s duty to make its endorsement based on fire service, employment, safety and health and labor issues that directly affect our members’ lives and livelihood.

Response: Bingo, I think we are on to something – repeat “please be mindful that the IAFF endorsement is about the candidate’s stance on fire service and labor issues.” So we now know that their endorsement is based on support for fire service, all candidates agree, and labor issues, all candidates agree, so then to the elephant in the room – What separated those selected vs those not selected? Answer – nothing other than an obvious unwritten agreement with the majority selected. If I am wrong, tell the public what separated those selected verses those not selected?    

In any union, association or even political party, when an organization endorses a particular candidate or a specific position on any issue, not everyone who is a member is in agreement. In fact, almost every time an endorsement is made, there is disagreement – but it’s usually based on personal political leanings or how one values certain issues. People are entitled to and respect their right to disagree and express their own opinions.

Response: It states above “when an organization endorses a particular candidate or a specific position on any issue”? Our complaint is about endorsing a slate of candidates NOT an individual candidate or a specific position on any issue!

Politics within the IAFF is an issue of mutual respect. The IAFF respects its members’ right to vote for whomever they choose, and we hope you respect the IAFF’s right to endorse candidates, regardless of party, who have demonstrated their support for the IAFF and professional fire fighters. The IAFF also respects the right of state and individual affiliates to endorse the candidate they believe will best represent their membership at the state and local level.

Response: “Politics within the IAFF is an issue of mutual respect.” Well the IAFF should extend their belief in MUTUAL RESPECT to residents and taxpayers of the Township of Langley. There is absolutely NO ISSUE with firefighters promoting their preferred candidates within their membership, that is a given. Communicate with all members through membership channels of communication, direct mail and others. Volunteer on your own time to support candidates of your choice by all means, but not in the form of Public Advertising that misleads the public as to the reason for its selection, that crosses the line and borders on FRAUD!

In Summary:

There are only TWO key questions surrounding the activities of our Township of Langley Firefighters that are seriously objectionable and bring the potential for some behind the scenes agreement of some nature into question:

How and on what basis were endorsed candidates selected? What were the differences between any and ALL candidates in this election? They owe it to the public to make that public! 

Publicly advertising a SLATE of Candidates on widely distributed 4 by 8 signs plus advertising those endorsed candidates in local newspaper ads stating these candidates support Public Safety given the known positions of ALL candidates is a fraudulent statement; unless of course you can make public the differences that you may have uncovered? Absent that clarification the firefighters are doing a disservice to all taxpayers in the Township of Langley. 

I have gone through the policy of the IAFF as it affects each IAFFs individual union locals guidelines as to it involves local, provincial and national politics. For the most part it is straight forward and understandable as it affects their livelihood, health and welfare. All professions look after their professional needs through professional associations.

Unfortunately the IAFF leaves open the opportunity for local interpretation of their policy as it relates to political campaigns. In our case their involvement does cross the line of fairness to taxpayers!

Nowhere in their policy does it state that their members should PUBLICLY ENDORSE and extensively advertise a slate of candidates. You remember the comment mentioned above about respect? “The IAFF respects its members’ right to vote for whomever they choose?”  The residents / taxpayers of the Township of Langley deserve that same respect and be allowed unimpeded or influenced by outside forces of self-interest groups / unions to make their own decision!


Stay tuned for discussion of top of mind topics that directly affect us in the Township of Langley and our region to be published in the months ahead and much more….!

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

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UPDATE: It didn’t take long (about 2 hours) but I am in receipt of a response from a firefighter, I can only assume is speaking for all firefighters and that is unfortunate. First, in their words expressed are not flattering to their profession and cause, but they do support my comment in the post that candidates cannot respond or they would be crucified! I am not publishing their comment due to it’s content (I will leave that there) but as important, it is not signed, so in response to that I say have the guts to stand behind what you are saying! One thing I will say, on the issue of what you say is my opinion, here is a challenge to all of you – You state on your signs that these selected candidates support Public Safety, which by inference suggests all others don’t, so I challenge the firefighters to state publicly – What was the process of selection and what were the reasons that you selected these 9 candidates rather than any of the other candidates? We challenge the firefighters, if I am wrong in my opinion and/or assumption, that you go public with the process used in making your decision. All Candidates have worked hard and are running to improve their Municipality. Don’t hide behind Public Safety, that is nothing more than a ruse, otherwise known as BS!    

Are YOU happy with yet another attempt by our Firefighters to hijack OUR democratic process? By your paid Public Servants!

This election year is turning out to be like many others. You know, don’t leave it to the opinions, conclusions and conscience of our voters and our candidates, our firefighters seem to think we the taxpayers of Langley need help as to who to vote for? Somehow the Township of Langley Firefighters believe that taxpayers are incapable of making this decision for themselves? You see, Firefighters are trading on their public goodwill that somehow they have some special expertise in deciding who to vote for in the upcoming election. Now bear in mind a very stark reality, their decision has absolutely nothing to do with Public Safety as they state (all candidates support public safety), it has everything to do with self interest in approving their next labor contract.

Well, to the taxpayers of the Township of Langley, lets send the Firefighters a message to stay out of our democratic process and that we are fully capable of thinking for ourselves. We don’t need employees of the Township of Langley to tell us who to vote for! I have gone through their charade in the elections of 2008, 2011 and 2014, if it wasn’t so serious their process would be laughable.

Candidates who are not chosen for endorsement by our firefighters won’t speak up because they can’t, they would be crucified. They would be the object of fear and intimidation! Well that is not right and it must be addressed.

So how does the Firefighters process work? The Firefighters local union provides all candidates with a list of questions and requests written answers to be returned on the day of their scheduled All Candidates meeting. Candidates are told that these questions will be drawn at random at the All Candidates meeting to be answered at random by candidates. It is said that these questions all deal with public safety and that the firefighter’s selection of endorsed candidates will be based on their answers. FACT, a criteria for selection based on answers given would clearly qualify 90% of candidates for selection. Obviously that can’t happen so there must be much more that goes into the selection process. WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

What do Firefighters do for THEIR selected candidates? In the past ie 2014 the Firefighters spent about $7,600. on their campaign support for selected candidates as 3rd Party supporters. Their campaign consisted of Paid For Newspaper ads, 4 by 8 signs and Door Hanging Notices delivered door to door. I believe it is totally reasonable and acceptable to play politics with their members BUT NOT with the general public. Under NEW 3rd party rules for the 2018 election in the Township their maximum allowable expenditure is $3,850.08 or about half of what it was in 2014. Details below!

A Very questionable history! As my BLOG Post of January 2015 clearly outlines, the issue back then was the fact that the firefighters had been without a contract for 2 – 3 years and they asked the question to the candidates before their 2014 All Candidates meeting whether they would support a settlement with their firefighters. Somehow, that single question dealing with labor relations was the only one not asked of any candidate in that all candidates meeting and within a couple of days of that meeting a settlement was announced. A short time later, surprise surprise signs, door hangers and newspaper ads appeared supporting the incumbents. Now you tell me, is this just a coincidence? Do you believe in the tooth fairy? A VERY questionable series of events!

What was the real price that we paid? Was there an agreement in place? What was the cost to us? The 2010 and 2011 contract – 3% per year plus the 2012 to 2019 contract – 2 ½ % per year that all equates to a 26% COMPOUND WAGE INCREASE over 9 years! We don’t know the cost to other parts of that agreement reached?

All of that was timed for the last election, what about this year? An interesting thought! This election is for 4 years, in other words the next election is in 2022. The next firefighter contract comes up at the end of 2019, next year? So this election will elect the Council that must vote for any settlement with the firefighters? Now I have heard the firefighters suggest, as a diversion tactic, that they don’t negotiate with Council. Really, are you guys serious? Council with Senior staff are in a position of directing or suggesting that certain negotiations take place and settlements occur. Are you going to tell me that doesn’t take place? If so I have a bridge to sell you. I have served a number of years on a Provincial Food Industry Labor Relations Association as well as serving on the Metro Vancouver Labor Board, I know how it works. PROOF? Go to the Delta Firefighters contract on or about 2014 that formed what the Township of Langley was paid, following that contract. It was resisted for a year or so until the Township endorsed slate was announced!

If the firefighters hold their activity over the head of our local politicians ALL of us taxpayers are forced to pay the price, regardless of what that might be. All for reciprocal pay-back!      


Our Township of Langley Firefighters traded on their Community Good Will (otherwise known as Community Capital) to secure a financial benefit (contract agreement) in return for a Public Endorsement for and from a Newly elected Council?

Are any members of our Council, the Union or their representative(s), Senior Staff and/or any other third party acting for any of the foregoing been involved in suggesting agreements, verbal or written with the Firefighters to secure a public endorsement campaign in exchange for a contract agreement(s)? “Inducement” (Legislation’s word not mine), a word used in section 151 of the B.C. Local Government Act? (Dictionary definition of “inducement” is “incentive”)

The Legality Question It is clear that section 151 of the B.C. Local Government Act explicitly prohibits any form of “inducement” (outlined below). A review of the penalties to anyone found guilty of breaching this legislation, are very significant.

This is a very disconcerting campaign activity. IF in the future there is another situation that just happens to occur, my understanding from a good source is that any resident of the Township of Langley may file a complaint with the RCMP with respect to an issue such as this. I would also suggest that any complaint be laid through RCMP E Division, not the Langley Detachment given the potential of or perception of a conflict of interest.

There are those that want to bury their heads in the sand and suggest that this is just a coincidence or it somehow is anti-firefighter – Well, For The Record, nothing could be further from the truth, I have family in this profession, I have great respect for the job they do! NOW lets deal with the facts – In this case, this legislation (laws) that are in place to protect taxpayers and to protect our democracy, regardless of who is responsible! Would this happen? Only an investigation can tell.

In the 2014 election there appeared to be clearly enough compelling supporting evidence or at the very least circumstantial evidence to secure a thorough and complete investigation. I stand very proud on my record of accomplishments and I have paid a very handsome price personally in many ways to fight the fight. I do not apologize. I will continue to present facts and issues and more than anything I am and will challenge residents to stand up and be counted. It is up to any one of you to grab the issue by the horns and to stand up and do something about it. By WHO and HOW our Municipality is being run is the issue, sitting back and doing nothing to correct it is not an answer.                     

Township of Langley Firefighters Factor (Is this not Political Interference and more?)It is my opinion and I believe that of the majority of residents that our firefighters are respected for the service that they provide our community. That aside, the question has to be asked, have firefighters seriously crossed the line with their very questionable partisan political activity? I don’t agree with their activity of publicly advertised support for a specific self-serving slate of candidate(s). It is fundamentally wrong!

Over the years our Township of Langley Full Time Firefighters have made it a practice of leveraging political activity during election campaigns to assist their labor negotiations to benefit negotiation outcomes? What other reason could there be? Firefighters everywhere are politically active, no problem, however going public with a publicly advertised slate endorsement is wrong.

No other Fire Department in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley Regional District takes their political activity to this level. The Township of Langley deserves better!

NOTE – What makes all of this a possibility of and for an “inducement”? The Township of Langley Firefighters Association IAFF 4550 PUBLICLY provided their preferred slate of candidates with the following, which can only be described as – “Inducements” that could be to the benefit of both parties. Were ONE or BOTH parties guilty of a breach of Section 151 in 2014? Could all of this be leading to 2019 negotiations? Here is what they did in 2014….

Firefighter paid for minimum half page full color Newspaper Ads listing all candidates they endorsed that they say supported their views of “Public Safety”! (I will add that all candidates if not a minimum of 95% of all candidates came out in full support of Firefighters.) Therefore their inference being that these are THE only candidates that support public safety is and was bogus. Could there be other reasons for their candidate preferences? – Contract negotiations?

Firefighters paid for and distributed large 4 ft. by 8 ft. full color signs posted throughout the Township of Langley by November 6th listing all candidates that they say endorsed and supported their views of “Public Safety”. (I will add that all candidates if not a minimum of 95% of all candidates came out in full support of Firefighters.) Therefore their inference being that these are THE only candidates that support public safety is bogus. Could there be other reasons for their candidate preferences? – Contract negotiations? OH, and by the way – When were these signs painted and by whom? Just asking the question?

Firefighters paid and distributed Door hanging notices was distributed presumably by firefighters identifying their list of candidates with descriptions such as “Support Local Champions of Public Safety” and “ensure those elected to council agree that the safety of your family and your property is a priority”. (I will add that all candidates if not a minimum of 95% of all candidates came out in full support of Firefighters.) Therefore their inference being that these are THE only candidates that support public safety is bogus.

Council ratified the agreements In one of their first acts after taking office these union contracts were ratified unanimously by this council.

What is that all aboutRead carefully the following excerpt from the B.C. Local Government Act. It is Interesting that these sections along with a few other pertinent sections were included in the candidate Nomination Packages so ignorance of the law is NO excuse. What qualifies as an inducement? This is not rocket science!

Definition of Inducement – “That which induces; incentive. The act of inducing.”

Excerpts from the B. C. Local Government Act (below)

Division 17 — Election Offences

Vote buying

151  (1) In this section, “inducement” includes money, gift, valuable consideration, refreshment, entertainment, office, placement, employment and any other benefit of any kind.

(2) A person must not pay, give, lend or procure inducement for any of the following purposes:

(a) to induce a person to vote or refrain from voting;

(b) to induce a person to vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular candidate;

(c) to reward a person for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) to procure or induce a person to attempt to procure the election of a particular candidate, the defeat of a particular candidate or a particular result in an election;

(e) to procure or induce a person to attempt to procure the vote of an elector or the failure of an elector to vote.

(3) A person must not accept inducement

(a) to vote or refrain from voting,

(b) to vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular candidate, or

(c) as a reward for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (a) or (b).

(4) A person must not advance, pay or otherwise provide inducement, or cause inducement to be provided, knowing or with the intent that it is to be used for any of the acts prohibited by this section.

(5) A person must not offer, agree or promise to do anything otherwise prohibited by this section.

(6) A person prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another person on behalf of the first person.

Prosecution of organizations and their directors and agents

153.1  (1) An act or thing done or omitted by an officer, director, employee or agent of an organization within the scope of the individual’s authority to act on behalf of the organization is deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted by the organization.

(2) If an organization commits an offence under this Part, an officer, director, employee or agent of the organization who authorizes, permits or acquiesces in the offence commits the same offence, whether or not the organization is convicted of the offence.

(3) A prosecution for an offence under this Part may be brought against an unincorporated organization in the name of the organization and, for these purposes, an unincorporated organization is deemed to be a person.

Time limit for starting prosecution

153.2  The time limit for laying an information to commence a prosecution respecting an offence under this Part is one year after the date on which the act or omission that is alleged to constitute the offence occurred.


154  (1) A person who contravenes section 151 or 152 is guilty of an offence and is liable to one or more of the following penalties:

(a) a fine of not more than $10 000;

(b) imprisonment for a term not longer than 2 years;

(c) disqualification from holding office in accordance with subsection (1.1) for a period of not longer than 7 years.

(d) [Repealed by 2014-19-71(a).]

(1.1) Disqualification under subsection (1) (c) is disqualification from holding office as follows:

(a) on a local government;

(b) on the council of the City of Vancouver or on the Park Board established under section 485 of the Vancouver Charter;

(c) as a trustee under the Islands Trust Act;

(d) as a trustee on a board of education, or as a regional trustee on a francophone education authority, under the School Act.

(2) A person or unincorporated organization who contravenes section 153 is guilty of an offence and is liable to one or both of the following penalties:

(a) a fine of not more than $5 000;

(b) imprisonment for a term not longer than one year.

(3) Any penalty under this Division is in addition to and not in place of any other penalty provided in this Part.

(4) A person or unincorporated organization is not guilty of an offence under this Part if the person or organization exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

Conclusion – The effect the Firefighter’s Campaign was significant on the Elections of 2011 and 2014 as it has a chance to be in 2018, IF we allow it to be? Was their campaign only motivated by an inducement? Is that what stimulated their message? You decide? This apparent conflict or breach of this legislation is certainly in question, given the evidence available (above). It doesn’t pass the smell test.

In 2014 the Firefighters endorsed nine members of Council – EIGHT of them were elected.

Well what about the list of 2018 endorsed candidates? They threw away the previously (2011) endorsed candidates Ward and Dornan in favor of NEW candidates Quaale and Whitmarsh for 2014? This year they threw away Long and Richter and added two new ones? Based on what? If the process was true to itself a review of the answers provided by these two NEW endorsed candidates as well as that of the endorsed incumbents compared to that of the rest of the candidates leaves one to wonder on what basis was this decision made? None of this passes the smell test! It is once again it is the Jack Froese Team being endorsed with a couple of changes.

Given the wording of the messages sent out by the Firefighters in 2014 to residents and given the public’s trust of their firefighters I would strongly suggest this activity would have influenced / induced enough residents in their votes to have a significant effect on the final result, certainly for Councilor. The following reflects that considerable likelihood.

For the record in 2014 there were FIVE candidates for Council that were no more than 465 votes below the last successful candidate, only one of which was endorsed by the firefighter slate. To put it into net political reality of how votes are affected by numbers check the following;

In 2014 IF only 233 votes were taken away from the bottom three elected candidates (Firefighters recommended slate of candidate’s) and added to the top three unelected candidates you would have a different result in the outcome for Council!

Given the information above, given the widespread Firefighter campaign and it’s potential for widespread effect on the election outcome, does this not put the entire election process into question? Just asking?

This issue must be dealt with, otherwise our democratic process is susceptible to be hijacked by any significant special interest group and taxpayers will pay a significant price. As you will note above, the penalty, if found guilty, is severe, as it should be.


Stay tuned for discussion of top of mind topics that directly affect us in the Township of Langley and our region to be published in the months ahead and much more….!

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

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To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

So Councilor Richter has been CENSURED for her actions in the Quaale affair. Do you remember the complaint Richter filed against Angie Quaale for securing a one off Township of Langley food-service contract making the suggestion or accusation that it was a conflict of interest? Charlie Fox got on his high horse and posed a motion that was passed that Council receive a legal opinion on the accusation of conflict of interest and Richter’s actions related to this matter and what can be done about it. It involved Richter posting a message on Facebook related to her complaint against Quaale and the accusation of conflict?

Now let’s make one thing very clear, I am no fan of Kim Richter, that being said boy am I ever conflicted, my thoughts follow….

So lets deal with the issues one at a time, was it a conflict of interest?

In my opinion it was absolutely a conflict of interest, perceived, if not a legal one. I say that, although my opinion is in opposition to the legal opinion provided by Township Counsel. I presume their opinion is based on their interpretation of the Community Charter. Well I vehemently disagree and I would suggest legal opinions depend on who is asking, what is being asked and who is paying the bills. Over the years I have seen too many conflicting opinions that disagree with each other?

So let’s put it another way, if the Mayor owned a paving company and bid on a Township paving contract would it be considered a conflict of interest? I would suggest emphatically yes! Why, because staff serve (within all practical reason) the public through their elected representatives, all who strive to cooperate as much as possible and within reason, with their elected masters. I am not suggesting wrong doing here but I am suggesting that questions can be asked and/or answered privately by council members to staff or visa versa innocently or otherwise asking or receiving inside information that is not available to the general public. Not saying it happened but saying it could happen, which is exactly the point to a perceived conflict of interest by any member of Council. This shouldn’t even be a question, in my view!

Under the Township’s Respectful Workplace Policy Councilor Richter’s actions impacted the workplace! So Councilor Richter has been CENSURED!

Really, get serious? To Councilors Quaale and Fox – GROW UP! This is nothing but a political attack disguised as someone’s feelings getting hurt. As one resident, and I know I am not alone in saying this, it is long past time that members of Council understand that taxpayers are tired of hearing about your hurt feelings. You are being paid good money so it is time that all of you put on your Big Boy and Big Girl pants and get on with the job, nobody said it was going to be easy. Stop your whining and your political attacks!

As an aside I see Councilor Fox all over Facebook the last couple of days holding an “I am on Team Quaale” sign as a supporter! GEE that’s a surprise! It all fits, again it is ALL political, it is a set up!  

Councilor Quaale and members of Council who voted for these actions should pay the price for their ridiculous actions on voting day, Oct. 20th!! This is totally political, all timed for maximum impact. It is exactly what they did to me. More on that later!

Now to the question, what about Kim Richter’s legal bills regardless of how I feel about the issues? How much? Well the Township of Langley has a policy that it will pay legal costs UNLESS the individual is found guilty of wrong doing. I assume given the report that was issued, Kim has been found breaching the Township policy and guilty of wrong doing? Is that not correct? If so is she paying her costs herself? If they follow policy as much as I disagree with the decision, she should have to pay? I have heard her legal costs are around $20,000? That is just a rumor.  

I cannot believe that members of Council proceeded with this attack on Kim Richter that cost the residents of the Township of Langley $50,000. as is being reported!

So WHY am I conflicted? Let me count the ways!

Well déjà vu Councilor Kim Richter, OH and Charlie Fox was there in support. I am going to make a long story very short (it has been explained in full gory detail in an earlier BLOG Post). Back during my term, I am sure many will remember, I got embroiled in a dispute with the Township of Langley Council of the day. Specifically it involved some information that I considered potentially serious that was passed on to me by three individuals that I had breakfast meetings with earlier that year. It was my job to pass on that information to members of Council per the Community Charter BUT Council decided to Censure me anyway. WHY, because I wouldn’t divulge their names. By the way, I have never divulged their names BUT I will say this, they are THREE very prominent lawyers in the Township of Langley. Let the guessing begin!

The bottom line was that Council wanted to know who I met with and I flatly refused to tell as I had given these three lawyers my word against divulgence. Because I wouldn’t tell members of Council who I met with, Councilor Kim Richter put forward a motion that the Township would pay the legal expenses for their legal advice (members of Council who were concerned I would file a lawsuit) BUT to deny the Mayor’s legal expenses despite the fact it was against Township policy and I had not been found guilty of anything! This move cost me personally $25,000. in after tax dollars to defend myself against their charges! $25,000 for doing nothing wrong! Want to talk to someone who has an opinion on this, talk to my wife. By the way the legal costs for the Township (No sorry to YOU the taxpayer) were far greater than $100,000.!

So as I say Councilor Kim Richter, déjà vu how does it feel now? OH and by the way you state in your response to this action that you were only doing your job? Well so was I but you voted and supported that Censure and those legal costs contrary to Township policy anyway! Sorry for this, but I can’t help feeling that there is justice in this world.

In Summary:

Well despite what I have said above with respect to my own experiences, the above complaint and the above penalty is wrong, just plain wrong as is the conflict of interest decision, in my opinion. Despite what happened to me and what Kim Richter and Council did to me I cannot in good conscience stay silent on the issues, believe me it would be easy to do.

I know first-hand when dealing with the Township’s Corporate lawyers that opinions are just that opinions. I have seen first-hand that some Township court cases based on legal opinions received just weren’t that successful; but then again that is the case with ALL legal opinions, they are just that, opinions which is why we have courts! I have seen actions when lawyers come back claiming a win, when you just can’t find one in the judgement.

In this case, unless you want to throw serious money at the problem, it is just not worth it. In many cases that is what they count on. Can anyone justify the expense to take on the deep pockets of the Township spending your individual hard earned dollars against the collective tax dollars held by the Township? It is not right BUT it is a fact!

During my term I was targeted and the DIRECT target of a number of heavy weights (literally) in our community that did not like my willingness to fight wrong doing. Mufford Crescent Overpass / land deal (we won), Athenry Developments, Land Fill on Agricultural land, Browns Pit, LEC financial boondoggle, Park Lane Condo Wall in Fort Langley, Dixon Pit property sale, keeping Township Property Portfolio Private and much much more.

What we are seeing with this Council is an orchestrated campaign to shut everyone up. It is bullying and intimidation at its best. The gang of 5 are responsible, Jack Froese, Angie Quaale, Blair Whitmarsh, Michelle Sparrow and Charlie Fox. Charlie Fox is not running, the remaining 4 (The Froese Team) should be defeated on Oct. 20th for their actions.

I paid the price but I feel great and when I look in the mirror I like the guy looking back at me. Could I have saved money and made my life a lot easier, absolutely but looking back on what happened I would not have done it any other way.

SPECIAL IMPORTANT NOTE: I am in receipt of a comment submitted to in response to the Kim Richter issue outlining what happened and making a number of serious accusations against her with no corroborating proof (and as I said here I am no fan and have every reason to reverse what I have said above, but in my opinion that would be wrong). I have seen the actions of this Council and staff behind the scenes to know they are trying to neuter anyone who disagrees with them, I have proof in my case and I know those facts. The mess the Township of Langley is in can be blamed in many cases for an internal campaign by staff against duly elected members of Council and in a number of cases against prominent residents who have gained a public profile, whether you like them or not. Example –

(Reference BLOG Post, dated March 23rd 2013) An email was put out by one Joel Shacter to all of his fellow real estate colleagues dated Nov. 11th 2011 I have had discussions with some of the senior management at the hall as well as our MLA Rich Coleman and 2 former mayors….they are all suggesting Mel has the best chance of taking Green out.” Very comforting words! But this is THE REALITY of what has been happening in the Township for years! YEARS! The so-called power brokers are controlling things behind the scenes! YOU CAN STOP THIS NOW THROUGH YOUR VOTE, lets VOTE for change!

Despite all of this the sender of this message was hoping for a posting signing themselves as a “Concerned Resident”, no name given. Sorry, for obvious reasons I will not publish a comment without any attributable name. (It sounds to me like a staff member and I know first-hand how many of them hate her first hand.)  

NOTE: The decision of Council (Report) and Kim Richter’s response can be found under the “Council Decisions” tab on the top tool bar of this BLOG site. 


Tuesday Oct. 2nd 4:30 – 6:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meet and greet Cascades Casino Ballroom.

Thursday Oct. 4th 6:30 PM – Fort Langley Community Association All Candidates Meeting for Township Council candidates as well as School Trustee Candidates to be held at the Fort Langley Hall. No charge to attend, but attendees can bring a non-perishable food item.

Wednesday Oct. 10th 4:30 – 6:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce 2nd meet and greet at the Redwoods Golf Course.

Thursday Oct. 11th 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Willoughby Residents Association All Candidates to be held at the Shepherd of the Valley Church Auditorium, 20097 72nd Ave.. A suggested donation of $5 for entry.

Friday Oct. 12th 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Langley Seniors Community Action Table is hosting a Township of Langley all Candidates Meeting at the Langley Seniors Centre Resource Centre in Langley City.

Tuesday Oct. 16th 5:00 – 8:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce hosts a debate, open to all six mayoral candidates for City and Township as part of the chamber’s dinner meeting at the Cascades Casino. Tickets are available from the Chamber. 


I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to the Province, the Region and the Municipality, 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!!!


Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives!


To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.