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Pemberton all candidates meeting draws standing room only crowd

"I’m sorry I blew up a little, but I had a right to."

— Mark Blundell



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At this point the audience broke into hisses and boos.

Blundell went onto list the current council’s accomplishments, prefacing it with the comment, "This council hasn’t been that bad."

The jeering continued as Blundell highlighted the current administration’s achievements, including securing $7.1 million in grant money, establishing a new sewer treatment facility and the building of sidewalks along Portage Street.

Blundell’s comments followed VVLA candidate Brian Young’s closing statement concerning transparency in local government.

"We don’t have all the access to all the information at muni hall. We have to get in there and change it," said Young.

Questioned the following day for clarification on what information was specifically unattainable, Young cited the current airport study as an example. Young alleged that his request to secure the document was denied by VOP staff on the basis that it had not been adopted and was currently in process. It is policy that information deemed to be "in process" or pertaining to an in camera issue is not available to the public.

Young also alleged that candidate Kirsten McLeod had that particular airport study in her possession at the all candidates meeting.

"Last night if you looked at Kirsten McLeod she had a binder full of information like Mark Blundell’s," said Young. "It was a full councillor’s binder, with the documents in the same order."

Young speculated that either VOP staff or Blundell had compiled the binder. He also noted that McLeod was the sister of Blundell’s son’s fiancé. Blundell confirmed that he assisted two of the candidates, McLeod and van Mook, upon their request.

"Kirsten McLeod is young and new and is very mature. She came and asked me how to go through the political process. I told her, ‘Get a binder and get the documents.’ I told her I’d help her. Brian Young’s never asked me for the report," Blundell said.

Blundell said that Young’s comments amounted to an attack on the VOP staff.

"Our staff is very dedicated to this community. They are not about to make judgments that are going to interrupt the campaign process. They will give information that is factual and accurate," said Blundell. "The village staff work here and live here and they feel threatened. I am very passionate about the staff. I’m sorry I blew up a little, but I had a right to."

The councillor also suggested that the VVLA was formed as a political party to represent the interest of developers.

"Drew Meredith is their agent. He is also the realtor on Raven’s Crest – Cam McIvor’s project. Who’s backing these guys? I will be very interested to see where their money is coming from," said Blundell.