The Union Bay Improvement District board voted against a proposal to add someone from the “No” side during last fall’s conversion referendum to the select committee working with the regional district to switch over services.
Chair Ian Munro brought up the idea at the inaugural meeting for the final incarnation of the board as a way to unify the community. The plan is for the committee to continue for three months following the conversion of services to the Comox Valley Regional District at the beginning of July to help with the transition. UBID currently oversees the provision of water, fire-fighting and streetlights.
The two other board members, Susanna Kaljur and Eve Gaudreau, felt there was little point though in the move, saying there are opportunities for people who did not support converting UBID’s three services to work with regional district representative Daniel Arbour, the director for Electoral Area A.
“I’m quite blunt as to why I oppose it,” she said.
Kaljur also said people from the “No” side could have opted to run for the UBID board at the final annual general meeting on April 29 and criticized some previous board members for past actions, which resulted in police reports.
“It is much more than a difference of opinion,” she said. “There was conduct that was unacceptable and wrong.”
Gaudreau reiterated these points about the actions of “No” side supporters, questioning their integrity as well as the purpose of adding someone to the committee for the transitional period.
“I doesn’t see like it will heal anything,” she said.
Munro said 28 per cent of voters were opposed to moving the services to the CVRD, and he hoped by adding someone to the select committee, it would help unify the community for the future. He also said there are people on the “No” side with the best interests of the community at heart, and he was saddened by what he described as a missed opportunity.
“They need to be heard,” he said. “I feel an opportunity here to bring people together.”
At one p0int during the discussion, “Zoom crashers” tried to interrupt the meeting. Munro managed to cut them off, though the board passed a motion to authorize staff to remove the one section of video of the meeting because of its disruptive and obscene language.
“This can’t be a public meeting with that sort of thing going on,” Munro said.
As Area A director, Arbour later told the Record he is committed to working for all residents in the community, with the addition of the services to the CVRD.
“The conversion process has allowed the CVRD to get up to speed on status of the services and needs coming up,” he said. “Our team is fully committed to ensure the provision of reliable services at affordable rates, realizing that projects such as water pipe replacements and a new fire hall is on the horizon and will require sound planning and meaningful public engagement.” ]