A Saanich mayoral candidate refuses to be drawn into the controversy swirling around his two competitors.
“My reaction is that my campaign and my work as mayor will focus on the work that we must do to build Saanich for the future,” said Rob Wickson. “If some folks want to spend valuable time playing politics with each other, then they are distracting from what should be the focus of all of us.”
Ultimately, it is up to voters to decide, for whom they vote, he said.
He made these comments after the public learnt that a lawyer representing incumbent Mayor Richard Atwell had sent a cease-and-desist letter to the mayoral campaign of Coun. Fred Haynes. The letter asks among other points that Haynes withdraw campaign literature which states, that “[unlike] Richard Atwell, I have never been a director of Amalgamation Yes.”
According to the cease-and-desist letter, “Mayor Atwell is not now nor has he ever been a director of Amalgamation Yes or any related society or organization.”
Documents obtained by the Saanich News appear to contradict this claim.
Documents dated Sept. 11, 2018 from the B.C. Registry Services show Atwell as a director of the Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society as of June 15, 2013. The society incorporated on April 5, 2013 and held a general meeting on June 15, 2013. (According to B.C. Registry Services, this information is current as of Aug. 17, 2018).
James Anderson, a founding member of the society, acknowledged Atwell’s presence on the document.
“Yes, that was for filing purposes only,” he said. “But after we were registered, Richard had no further participation in the organization after the initial [board of directors] was formed. He withdrew from all activity and became a political candidate. He resigned soon after the organization became active.”
Earle Anthony, a founding member and secretary of Amalgamation Yes, said as far as he knew, Atwell never served as a director nor was he ever elected.
While Anthony acknowledged Atwell’s name on the registry document, he does not know how Atwell ended up on the document dated April 5. Sometime after June 15, when the members elected a board, a mistake must have been in transmitting the names to the registry, he said. The group’s lawyer would be able to answer that question, he said.
The Saanich News reached out to the lawyer said to have handled the filing, but did not receive a response by deadline.