Desperation Tactics at Final Council Meeting: All Pretence of Propriety Abandoned by Outgoing Councillors
The behaviour of outgoing councillors Ambler, Hillian, and Winchester at the last meeting of this council left much to be desired, but Councillor Hillian deserves to be singled out for special mention.
Doug Hillian did a substantial disservice to Courtenay voters when he read without comment a scurrilous piece of defamation and misinformation by Andrew Gower which has been circulating on the internet for the past ten days or so. This statement has been thoroughly critiqued and debunked for the inaccurate and misleading piece of political propaganda it is. Gower’s statement, together with our fact checking responses, can be found on the home page of this website.
Hillian’s action in reading this defamatory distortion of fact into the public record was grossly inappropriate because:
- He treated the Gower comment as fact, which it most certainly is not;
- He neglected (as has Gower since he began circulating this propaganda piece) to mention that Gower has a serious conflict of interest:
- he is disparaging and defaming several candidates in the election, and
- he has failed to disclose that he is an active campaign worker for Jon Ambler and that this is presumably the motivating factor behind his attack on other candidates.
Mr. Gower is a former member of Friends of Maple Pool. While the Friends of Maple Pool have not to date endorsed any slate of candidates in this election, Mr. Gower was always aware that most Friends of Maple Pool considered a vote for Jon Ambler to be a vote to continue the lawsuit and close down Maple Pool. At the last meeting of FOMP, Mr. Gower suddenly announced that he was working on Jon Ambler’s campaign.
At that same meeting, FOMP passed a motion to hold a march on City Hall on November 10. Gower angrily denounced that motion and asked if we would all be “carrying pitchforks”? Subsequently, before the march took place, Gower pre-judged the march participants as a “lynch mob”!
As it turned out, the “lynch mob” consisted of seniors (a number of whom were disabled), single moms, children, and residents of Maple Pool. But Councillor Hillian and most of the other outgoing councillors apparently believed Gower’s rhetorical rants and feared for their lives. They arrived at City Hall sufficiently early to ensure that no marchers would see them; they then cowered inside City Hall until the Council meeting. And just to be sure, they spent more taxpayer dollars to hire three private security officers to protect the councillors from the women, children, and pensioners who constituted the frightening “lynch mob” outside.
At the last FOMP, the Friends voted democratically to hold the march. Gower then circulated the document which ultimately became “Hillian’s Script”. It is a document which profoundly damages the position of his clients, the Lins, whose interests he would appear to consider secondary to those of the client he is supporting in this election.
Doug Hillian read into the public record a statement by an individual who has never publicly disclosed his blatant conflict of interest in this matter. Moreover, Gower has no qualifications, special status, or authority to make the assertions he does make in the document Hillian read and clearly adopted. Much of it consists of a “legal opinion”. Not surprisingly, since Gower’s expertise is confined to engineering, every comment he makes on legal issues is categorically wrong.
In fact, every sentence of Gower’s “essay” falls into one of three categories:
- statements which are categorically and demonstrably false;
- statements which are seriously misleading;
- statements which are true, but are utterly irrelevant red herrings having nothing to do with the Maple Pool situation.