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

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read