Suspicion of city policy is not anything new

Many of you are aware of the City of Victoria’s Section 43 action against the muckrakers at Focus magazine.

Many of you are aware of the City of Victoria’s Section 43 action against the muckrakers at Focus magazine. The petition to limit the number of Freedom of Information requests the magazine’s staff can make to one at a time — the first ever filed against a media outlet in B.C. — has already inspired condemnation from Integrity BC, Open Victoria and pols across The Capital.

Some of you will also be aware that the city filed its petition a scant four days after David Broadland, publisher of Focus, filed his most recent FOI in search of proof that city staff failed to inform council and the public about cost increases for the ill-fated Johnson Street Bridge replacement project prior to last year’s referendum.

While outside critics have focused on the implications this case could have for access to information, the timing of the city’s application has Broadland calling it a stall tactic.

“The last thing they need right now is not just embarrassing facts, but facts that question the management of the project.”

Broadland’s suspicion boils down to this: the city lied about their mismanagement of the JSB replacement, and have been doing so ever since — a fact that they are now trying to bury with their Section 43 filing.

While this is still speculation until more information is released from city hall, it draws attention to a pattern that has persisted throughout the JSB replacement process.

From day one there have been reasoned, practical questions and alternatives laid at the feet of the city, and one after another these have been met with stonewalling and belligerence from politicians and officials alike.

These are not small accusations.

If Broadland is correct, the city will have lied to the public to convince us to vote for a fantasy, and then deepend that lie ever since to avoid public backlash.

Nonetheless, Broadland says, “I don’t think that it has anything to do with corruption. What’s happened here is that the community has gotten itself into a fight, and neither side wants to end up being the loser.”

The Johnson Street Bridge replacement has been fraught with problems since its inception, and the coming weeks will reveal if each problem’s common source is nothing more than simple pride. M

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

Just Posted

30 years later, Sue Medley’s hit ‘Dangerous Times’ more relevant than ever

Vancouver Island singer/songwriter reflects on her ’90s national hit

Psychological thriller filmed on northern Vancouver Island debuts on AppleTV

‘Woodland’ is set in Haida Gwaii, but was filmed around Port McNeill

Symphony Splash goes virtual, revisits 2018 performance

Organizers postpone live event until Aug. 1, 2021

Sooke Fine Art Show takes local art to a world stage

People can visit online from July 24 to Aug. 3, and can purchase any art until end of September

Nanaimo fantasy writer co-authoring Old Norse phrase book

Joshua Gillingham partnering with author and professor on ‘Old Norse for Modern Times’

Cowichan’s 39 Days of July deemed a success, despite COVID-19

Musical productions live streamed from the Duncan Showroom this year

Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival goes ‘mini’ on 10th anniversary

Gabriola Arts Council presents scaled-down, workshop-only IOTA Mini festival

Sooke Fine Arts Show reaches new audiences with virtual showcase

Voting for People’s Choice Award open until Aug. 3

Mural artists announced for Nanaimo’s inaugural Hub City Walls festival

Local artists Kara Dee Harrison, Russell Morland and Austin Weflen to paint downtown walls

Nanaimo musician Glen Foster releases new music video

‘Brains Brawn and Beauty’ is the latest single from Foster’s album ‘Not Far Away’

Nanaimo artist showing holographic, glow-in-the-dark paintings in Parksville

Pattiann Withapea presents ‘Designs From My Abstract Mind’ at McMillan Arts Centre

New Victoria art show displays 600 collaboratively made postcards from the pandemic

An artist would start a card and then mail it to another who would add to or complete the design

Most Read