Election 2014: Leonard gets police, fire union endorsements

Richard Atwell says Saanich Fire Fighters Association, Saanich Police Association endorsements 'perceived' conflict of interest

Saanich police and firefighter unions are throwing their support behind Mayor Frank Leonard in his bid for re-election, but the move is drawing criticism from Leonard’s opponent.

On Friday, both the Saanich Fire Fighters Association, Local 967, and Saanich Police Association endorsed Leonard at his campaign office on Cloverdale Avenue.

“Mayor Leonard has shown his dedication to public safety and has had an open-door policy to our association,” said Aaron Charlton, Saanich Fire Fighters Association president. “He’s proved to us that safety for the public and our members is top priority.”

Todd Lamb, vice president for the Saanich Police Association, said his members “overwhelmingly voted to endorse Mayor Leonard in his campaign for mayor.”

Lamb said Leonard’s leadership style and commitment to public safety through adequate staffing and equipment has been well-received by police.

“Public safety is something I take very, very seriously,” Leonard said. “I’ve always had a good relationship with the unions.”

Mayoral candidate Richard Atwell said Leonard, who chairs the Saanich Police Board, shouldn’t be accepting an endorsement from the union that represents police officers.

It is imperative that the Mayor be impartial in oversight and avoid any perceived conflict of interest, which we’ve seen the Mayor emphasize before with his 102 missed meetings at the Capital Regional District,” Atwell said.

The 102 missed meetings refer to Leonard’s absence at the CRD board and core area liquid waste management committee, which oversees regional sewage treatment. Leonard said earlier this month he was exercising “an abundance of caution” in avoiding the meetings, as his son works for a multi-national company that has bid on and won sewage-related contracts. Leonard is also involved with the B.C. Municipal Pension Board, which owns shares in another sewage bidding firm, Corix.

“Leonard seems to be conflicted about what constitutes a conflict of interest,” Atwell said.

Lamb said the Saanich Police Association wasn’t approached by Atwell nor mayoral candidate David Shebib, though he said the union would have put those endorsement requests to a vote as well.

This is the second campaign where Leonard has sought and received the endorsement from police and fire unions.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushes B.C. government to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read