Monday, March 05, 2012

Council Pays For Councillors Legal Opinions

Conflict Policy Adopted
$3,000 For Councillors Legal Advice

Council has agreed to pay up to $3,000 per year, per Councillor so the Councillor may seek legal advice on  a matter that will potentially have a Council member in conflict.

Councillor Anderson was the sole Councillor opposed to the adoption of this staff recommendation, saying he felt if a Councillor needed legal advice on the matter of a conflict of interest, they should pay for that legal counsel themselves. He unsuccessfully sought to have the matter deferred to the next regular council meeting so he might gain more information on the decision.

Councillor Greves Wants Legal Opinion
Received $22,500 In Campaign Contributions From Trade Unions

Councillor Greves who brought this matter before council indicated that he wished to get a clarification on his own potential conflict of interest, prior to matters coming before council he wished to vote on.

For those unfamiliar, Councillor Greves is a retired firefighter, who at one time was the union representative for the firefighters union locally. Councillor Greves received $6500 in contributions from trade unions in his successful bid in the spring by-election and another $16,000 in campaign contributions in the fall general election for a seat on city council.

A reasonable question might be if a candidate receiving large donations from trade unions, would  be in a perceived conflict involving council decisions affecting wage and benefit increases related to members of those unions.

The unions listed as supporting Councillor Greves campaign were CUPE BC/National, IAFF, CUPE 401, Firepac Canada, Local 905 IAFF.

Should those in public office be like Caesar's wife?



  1. Why would a trade union put that kind of money into a campaign, if they weren't hoping for favours??
    Stuff like this, just makes you shake your head!
    This is just as bad as real estate developers pouring thousands into the campaigns of their favourites also.
    Do these guys believe that the general public is really all that gullible?? Then people wonder why we don't bother to vote.

  2. The only reason this guy ran for council is to promote the interests of the fireman,as if they aren't getting enough already.It's the only conflict he could possibly have because he has few other interests.And now he wants the Nanaimo taxpayer to pay for his lobbying work.

  3. Yet more budgetary waste is in store with this resolution.

    Councilor Greves and other councilors should refer to the city's own conflict of interest policy before consulting a lawyer.

    Yes, Councilor Greves, the policy indicates very clearly that you will be in a conflict of interest if you vote to support benefits negotiated by your former union, because that union has materially supported your political career every step of the way.

    So spare us the foolish and wasteful expenditure your motion would produce. Conflict of interest is not simply a matter for lawyers and the courts; each councilor has an ethical obligation to make certain he or she does not vote to extend benefits to groups or friends or colleagues who provided material electoral support for their campaigns.

    That's what the city's policy requires. Just observe it, please, and spare us the sophistry some lawyer might spin on your behalf -- and at our expense.

  4. Nanaimo Taxpayer10 March 2012 at 13:25

    If this councilor does not excuse himself from votes relating to union members wages and benefits, how hard does he think it will be to get 10 Nanaimo taxpayers to take him to court?
    Have you seen how much his union 'brothers' paid to get this guy elected???


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