Open Letter to Cortes Islanders

January 21, 2019

This is an HTML version of the printed Open Letter distributed to island mailboxes Jan 23 2019.
Note: It's not too late... You can still add your name to this live copy of the Open Letter.
Just email the address at bottom of page, and ask to be added.

By now most of you have heard the news: 14 Cortes residents filed a petition (Jan 2/3 2019) to initiate a lawsuit to remove our Regional Director, Noba Anderson, from office.

The primary allegation in this petition is that Director Anderson solicited bribes and delivered kickbacks in return. A quote: Anderson took money from her constituents for personal gain and a number of those same constituents received gifts and grants in return. (Campbell River Mirror, Jan 7 2019). According to the signatories, this bribery took place in the late Spring of 2018. During that time a GoFundMe page was established by Lovena Harvey to ask the community to support a fundraising effort for Noba's dad Bernie -- an elderly man suffering from dementia who burned down his small cabin and was lucky to survive the fire. The cabin was completely destroyed, and so were all his possessions.

Money collected via the GoFundMe page was placed in a separate bank account in Bernie's name. Noba used it to cover part of the cost of adding a bedroom for Bernie to her house, as he now requires more supervised care. 28 people contributed. $2700 was raised locally to help Bernie. The petitioners allege that donors to this GoFundMe effort had connections to island organisations which receive GIA funds from SRD, and that Director Anderson preferentially directed funding to these organisations in response to bribes received.

We, the undersigned, believe these allegations to be unfounded and mean-spirited. While some of us disagree with Noba on various issues, and not all of us voted for her in the last election, we feel that this lawsuit is politically motivated and not in keeping with Cortes community spirit.

We are asking you to consider seriously whether you truly find these allegations against our Director -- and against several of our community organisations and their members -- believable. We ask you to consider the following questions, regardless of whether you voted for Noba Anderson or for George Sirk in our last election:

1. Defamation of our Regional Director... Most of the 14 signatories to this lawsuit are political opponents of Director Anderson. SRD has also been apprised of these allegations against her. Their CAO, David Leitch, with the agreement of the SRD board, has hired a private investigator to look into the matter. This investigator has been interviewing Cortes residents during the first half of January. Was this costly response appropriate, given such flimsy and partisan allegations?

2. Irregular Process at SRD Affects Cortes Issues... Director Leigh, representative for Oyster River, explained her vote to further delay our tax service referendum as follows: She said she had heard concerns from Cortes residents via email. (Campbell River Mirror, Nov 28 2018) Does this mean some people on Cortes are lobbying a Regional Director other than their own, to influence SRD votes on Cortes affairs? RD Leigh has not made the number or contents of these emails public, has not entered them into the SRD record as Correspondence Received, has not shared them with our own Regional Director.

3. Delays and Inconsistencies in Referendum Process... A clear majority desired a tax service referendum in petitions and delegations in 2017; the October 2018 vote favoured proceeding with a referendum by the same margin. In the summer of 2018, SRD promised that if the October vote passed, SRD would expedite the process with a deciding vote in the Spring of 2019. However, in November, a further indefinite delay was imposed. Why has SRD delayed that referendum at considerable cost to the taxpayer?

4. Voter Harassment on Cortes Island... In December 2018, RCMP appeared on Cortes Island, questioning individuals about their length of residence and ID. They said a complaint had been filed alleging "illegal voting" in our most recent election, and that they had been given a list of names. Only nine names were given to the RCMP and as of this date we know of none who were disqualified from voting. Is this a case of partisan voter harassment?

For quite some time now there has been apparent resistance at SRD to proposals brought by RD Anderson, even when they reflect the majority opinion of her constituents. SRD appears to be influenced somehow by minority opinion on Cortes. This seems to be encouraging more and more extreme and un-Cortes-like political tactics from Director Anderson's opponents, culminating now in an attempt to remove her from office.

If you are concerned, as we are, about any or all of the above questions as indicators of an erosion of our democratic process and community spirit, we encourage you to join us in expressing your opinion in an individual letter to the SRD: Please address your letter clearly to SRD Board of Directors.

We feel SRD needs to explain... why secret lobbying is permitted; why Cortes issues are handled differently from those of other Areas; why they have imposed so much delay and expense on a simple referendum issue; how much they have spent on their acceptance of weak allegations against our RD; plus any other questions you may have about this situation.

More complete information may be found at this URL: or by contacting De Clarke who is hosting these documents and can help you access them. At this URL, you can read the complete text of the original petition.

Yours for a kinder and more democratic Cortes,

Aaron Ellingsen
Adam McKenty
Adam Schick
Amanda Glickman
Amber Sprungman
Amy Bockner
Amy Robertson
Andrew Baskin
Andrew Smyth
Andrew Weil
Andy Ellingsen
Angela Hales
Ann Hiatt
Anna Ochsenbein
Anne-Lise Hollier
Ashe Biela
Ashley Zarbatany
Barry Glickman
Becky Knutson
Bernice McGowan
Bill Dougan
Bill Weaver
Bill Wheeler
Blanca Scanlon-Sharpe
Bob Katzko
Bob Tracy
Brian Genn
Brittany Baxter
Carie Fischtein
Carina Verhoeve
Carol London
Carole Thacker
Carole Waddell
Caroline Baker
Carrie Saxifrage
Catharine Bushe
Caz Ratcliffe
Cec Robinson
Chris Napper
Chris Walker
Christine Robinson
Connie Brill
Dan Peters
Dana Bass Solomon
Daniel Nagle
David Hiatt
David Hughes
David Rousseau
De Clarke
Derek MackMumford
Devon Johnston
Diane Brussel
Diane Elliott
Sobhana Dilani Hippola
Donna Dryer
Dr Peter Elliott
Elinore Harwood
Elizabeth Anderson
Emilie Hansen
Emilie Wapnick
Fawn Baron
Gabriel Dinim
Gail Ringwood
Gary Cork
George Lerchs
Gerry Watson
Gillian Nagle
Giorgio Giovinazzo
Glenna Foerster
Grazyna Trzesicki
Hannes Grosse
Hannu Huuskonen
Hanyu Wasyliw
Hayley Newell
Heather Ogilvy
Heidi Gerrard
Helen T Cliffton-Wooldridge
Henry Verschuur
Howie Roman
Hubert Havelaar
Ian Le Cheminant
Ian Ross
Ian Watson
Irene Blueth
Iris Steigemann
Isabel Steigemann
J Wayne Roberts
Jane Newman
Janet Turpin
Jason Andrews
Jean Le Cheminant
Jessica Pinder
Jodie Brady
Joel Doyle
Joel Solomon
Johanna Robertson
John Preston
John Shook
John Sprungman
Jon Knowles
Jonas Fineman
Joy Kerfoot
Juli Nelson
Kai Harvey
Karen Hansen
Kate Archibald
Kate Maddigan
Kirsten Vidulich
Kristen Schofield-Sweet
Kristina Purcell
Laura Heslin
Lella Gmeiner
Leonard Woywitka
Lisa Gibbons
Lloyd Yendall
Lore MackMumford
Lovena Harvey
Lucas Biela
Lynne Barker
Manda Aufochs Gillespie
Margaret Verschuur
Mark Braaten
Mark Vonesch
Martha Abelson
MaryClare Preston
Matt Cusciana
Maureen Williams
Max Thaysen
Maya Buckner
Meinsje Vlaming
Michelle Mailey
Mike Malek
Mike Moore
Miki Bellemare
Miranda Cross
Mitchell McCoy
Myann Woolley
Nancy Kendel
Natasha Meredith
Nori Fletcher
Norm Gibbons
Odette Auger
Paul Kirmmse
Peter Henbury
Peter Jackel
Phil Allen
Priya Huffman
Ralph Garrison
Ray Kendel
Rex Weyler
Richard Andrews
Richard Gaudette
Richard Yensen
Rick Bockner
Risa Salsberg
Roland Boudreau
Ron Bazar
Rose Fitcyk
Rose Wooldridge
Roy Hales
Ruth Riddell
Ryan Harvey
Sachia Kron
Sadhu Johnston
Sandra Wood
Scott Knutson
Sean Sprungman
Serene Watson
Sherry Sprungman
Sheryl Thompson
Siobhan Robinsong
Sonya Friesen
Steve Brady
Steve London
Steve Ringwood
Sue Ellingsen
SueJohn Allen
Susan Blackburn
Suzanne Minogue
Tamara McPhail
Tammy Allwork
Theresa Hargrave
Thomas Huffman
Toby Roman
Toni Smorodin
Tony Toledo
Travis Pawlak
Valerie Wernet
Victoria Watson
Wendy Havelaar
Xuan Ly Betz
Yifan Li
Yvonne Kipp

(that is 193 signatures, thanks Bruce for counting... but feel free to count 'em yourself and let me know if I'm wrong --de)

The following signatories did not quite make the deadline for the print job. (7pm Sunday Jan 20)
Jan 21-31
 Andy Vine
 John Woolley
 Lesley Perdissa
 Stefano Perdissa
 Gem Salsberg
 Donna White Steele
 Anne Dzakovic
 Samuel Gibb
 Leona Jensen
 Dennis Mense
 Sabina Leader Mense
 Ann Mortifee
 Gavin Morris
 Colin Funk
 Kelly Wand
 Holger Schramm
 Leah Seltzer
 Arron Elliott
 Philip Wood
 Myrna Kerr
 Julian Ayers
 Gina McCartney
 Shanaya Nelson
 Jim Kearney
 Diane Daly
 Loni Taylor
 Michael Landry
 Victor Van Buskirk
 Rik Ochsenbein
 Amie Hertzig
 Norah Johnson
 Jerry Prussin
 Caleb Summers
 Jeramie Peacock
 Stephen Reid
 Carmen Mills
 Bruce Ellingsen
 Edward Colley
 Erica Kohn
 Jim Murphy
 Bruce Harrison
 Zoe Forest
 Jess Towers
 Don Tennant
 Loretta Tennant
 David Shipway
 Donna McLaren
 Willem Ophoff
 Gordon Towers
 Peter Rothfels
 Trude Albright-Sweeney
 Genoa Coty
February 1 -
 Phil Ney
 Bonnie McKibben
 Eli McKenty
 Marnie Andrews
 Bryan McKinnon
 John Finlay
 Jade Jordan
 Jodi Peters
 Jody Holmes
 Dina King
 Aspen King
 Patricia Swift
 David Williams
 Ian King
 Heather McKenzie
 Glenn Jordan
 Miles Meester
 Alex Hornby
 Darshan Stevens
 Michel Levesque
 Breffni O'Reilly
 Naomi Hayter
 Doug Weyler
 Pamela Boles
 Anna Van Ermengen
 Tanya Krahn
 Andrew Smith
 Jonah Weyler
 Clio Forsyth Morrissette
 Martin Bullock
 DeAnn Reeves
 Bill Friedel
 Max Lee
 Alex Woywitka
 Tom Trebett
 Alain Bellemare
 Ernie Peterson
 Dan Hilton
 Abigail Crespa James
 Max Hilton
 Marco Bedetti
 Rob Blackman
 John Mervin
 Mark Connolly
 Eric Lyon
 Mark Fraser
 Bruce Stryck
 Ainsley Phillips
 Garry Heathcote
 Marie Landry
 Jennifer Wilson
 Cora Moret
 Erik Arturo Juillet
 Jeff Martin
 Peter Schmidt
 Inga Schumann
 Jim Kearney
 Ann Fulton
 Chris Walker
 Mark Spevakow
 Shana Izen Spevakow
 Edward Garth Walton
 Peggy Taylor
 Rick Ingrasci MD
 Derek Sharp
 Susan Steffner
 John Kristensen
 Whitney Vanderleest
 Jay Samms
 Frank Combest
 Jordan Nigren

Hosted by:
De Clarke
Cortes Island BC
The opinions expressed in this page are my own, and should not be imputed to any other persons unless they expressly endorse them in public. They do not reflect the views or position of any entity or person other than myself.