Lee Brain says Mayor failed to be honest


#1

In the opening rounds of what is shaping up to be one of the most interesting municipal elections in a long time, the two declared mayoralty candidates appear to be raising character as a defining issue.

Mayoralty candidate Lee Brain has said in a media release that current mayor Jack Mussallem has failed to be honest with the community. Those are strong words.

This follows an unusual election ad in which the Mayor appeared to be attacking the character of an opposing candidate, but who that might be was less than clear. The ad contained a photo of the Mayor in full regalia with two Mounties, whose presence seemed to reinforce the Mayor’s assurances about his “personal behaviour” and other qualities. The Mounties almost certainly thought they were in the photo not as an endorsement, but because they were at dockside greeting visiting cruise ship passengers some time ago.

The Mayor’s ad campaign was discussed a few days ago in a separate thread in this forum, with the consensus of opinion appearing to be at least somewhat disapproving of the Mayor’s approach and messaging < Mayor attacks mystery candidate? >.

Mr Brain’s media release, which is the first to address some issues of note, comes after several weeks of little activity on his various web pages. An article in North Coast Review provides a screen shot of the release and links to various campaign pages and backgrounders, but with less editorial flourish and commentary than what regular readers of the blog may have come to expect
< northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … -call.html >.

Mr Brain outlines his commitment to transparency and public engagement, but with more detail than the mantra-like commitments that we have heard from those currently on council. After an election, they revert to business as usual, which is to conduct a large part of the council’s workload in meetings that are closed to the public. There are occasionally cryptic announcements as to what may have transpired there.

Mr Brain’s transparency agenda has greater detail around it, including commitments to hold town hall meetings and write a weekly column so that citizens are better informed. Whether meetings and columns are needed quite so often as he suggests seems doubtful, but his ideas are no doubt of interest.

Here is a quote from the part that questions the Mayor’s honesty: “Our current Mayor, Jack Mussallem, has failed to not only be honest with community members, but has failed to engage people on big ticket issues, such as the Pellet Plant and proposed LNG developments on Lot 444”

The current Mayor “has failed to … be honest”. Honest about what? And what is the evidence of that failure of honesty?

Put simply, allegations of dishonesty are usually regarded as inherently defamatory. They tend to bring another person into disrepute. Dishonesty and good character do not go together. And politicians are not exempt from the laws of defamation. That being said, liability can be avoided if a statement is “justified” by the truth.

Does the statement illustrate inexperience on Mr Brain’s part; a tendency to go too far with his campaign statements? Or having raised the character issue in his attack ads has the Mayor opened a can of worms that he may not have anticipated? Hopefully we will hear more from the candidates on this topic.


#2

[quote=“BTravenn”]

Does the statement illustrate inexperience on Mr Brain’s part; a tendency to go too far with his campaign statements? Or having raised the character issue in his attack ads has the Mayor opened a can of worms that he may not have anticipated? Hopefully we will hear more from the candidates on this topic.[/quote]

Mr. Brain knows that he will need to be just as aggressive as the mayor. We have a real contest here.


#3

or he is doing a Harper, knowing full well that he will have to retract or apologize for the statement but hopes it stays out there in the public.


#4

It would be MUCH more productive if Mr. Brain actually spoke about WHAT he is going to do and support as mayor…those are the questions that need answering…not Jack’s character…which we all know already is seriously lacking.

We want to know WHAT Mr. Brain supports, what he will do differently and specific ideas about what will continue to help Prince Rupert gain the most as far as economy and taxes are concerned.

I do like his idea of having a weekly column, monthly town hall and monthly newsletter that discusses city issues…this is exactly what we need to see from our mayor and the councilors running would be wise to support this initiative.

That being said, Mr. Brain should be trying to distance himself from anything having to do with the lame-duck environmentalist MLA Jennifer Rice that he fully supported during the last provincial eleection…hiring her NDP campaign manager as his local campaign manager probably was not a good move…especially if he wants to sell the message that he is now supportive of LNG and has no party affiliation to the NDP.


#5

I’m not sure that I need to hear the mayor speak by way of a weekly column. A monthly column or newsletter would suffice. The media already exists and as long as communication is open and the mayor accessible, why not let the media do the writing? I understand that control over content and the assurance over relaying a message may be minimized, but if the media wants to be able to obtain access and build trust, then they’d have to be fair in their reporting. I’d rather see the mayor at work in the issues than spending his week trying to obtain material for the weeks column.


#6

This is another concern of mine. I’m all for responsible resource development but considering his affiliations and past positions on development, does Re-Think Rupert involve a drastic change towards environmental activism?


#7

I think there is a huge difference between environmental activism and being environmentally-aware as Lee Brain is. I think Lee has the ability to look at things from both sides of the coin and find a balanced solution.

These are exciting times for our community with all the proposed LNG activity, The Kitimat-Stikine alliance has just negotiated with the BC government for billions in potential revenues from the expected resource boom in their region. They say a revenue share of only 3 per cent would generate $3 billion to invest in Northwest B.C. communities of the future. In the next four years we need someone with exceptional negotiating skills to ensure we get what we deserve out of these deals and get our city back on track financially. I believe Lee has what it takes. Lee’s getting my vote.


#8

[quote=“dafaceofanangel”]

I think there is a huge difference between environmental activism and being environmentally-aware as Lee Brain is. I think Lee has the ability to look at things from both sides of the coin and find a balanced solution. [/quote]

You may be right but I’m not willing to bet our future on it. As I’ve said before, I’d rather have seen him run as Councillor, where he’d surely get elected, so we an get a better glimpse of what he is all about, and so that he can learn. He undoubtedly has huge potential, but is he ready for the position, and are we ready for him? I, for one, am not ready to vote for him as mayor.

The other supposed mayoral candidate interests me although I’m pleased with the work that Jack and our current Council has done.


#9

You’re pleased with the work Jack and Council has done?? And you have the audacity to criticize Brain for having supported Rice? Whatever her failings, she has been nowhere near as incompetent and ineffective as this current council.


#10

[quote=“drummerboy”]

You’re pleased with the work Jack and Council has done?? And you have the audacity to criticize Brain for having supported Rice? Whatever her failings, she has been nowhere near as incompetent and ineffective as this current council.[/quote]

Yes, I am. You can read all about it in the other thread on the subject.

And no where did I criticize Rice in this thread. My concern is that a pro-environmental mayor is going to shut down/discourage development before it starts. I’m for a balanced approach and I’m not convinced that Lee will provide that. Maybe he can but, as I’ve previously stated, I’d rather see what he could do as Councillor rather than as Mayor. In any case, I’m only one vote. Feel free to vote as you like and we’ll see what the results are.


#11

Frankly I have been talking to a few people in the community and I think this kid has a lot of growing up to do.

I am fed up with Jack but at least we know what to expect. Parachuting to mayor without experience isnt good, he may indeed do well in time he should start as a Councillor so we can get a feel for how he is. We see it with Jennifer Rice too… Frankly I don’t trust the future of our town to either of them, but with Jennifer she has a party behind her and the NDP is not in leadership in BC. No Nah never wont be voting for Lee, I still hope another candidate comes forward.


#12

[quote=“Crazy Train”]

This is another concern of mine. I’m all for responsible resource development but considering his affiliations and past positions on development, does Re-Think Rupert involve a drastic change towards environmental activism?[/quote]

Since Mr. Brain has provided NO reassurances to those that are worried about this…one can do nothing but speculate…and continue to be nervous to even think about voting for him.

Right now he solidly does not have my vote, not even a bit. He has less than 2 months to try to convince me.


#13

[quote=“dafaceofanangel”]

You’re pleased with the work Jack and Council has done?? And you have the audacity to criticize Brain for having supported Rice? Whatever her failings, she has been nowhere near as incompetent and ineffective as this current council.[/quote]

I am not giving council and mayor a pass at all here…but WOW…what a wild statement that is. Jennifer Rice is the worst MLA this riding has seen in a LONG LONG time…that was on top of an absolute pitiful performance as a city councilor.

Our current crop of councilors and mayor may not be the best, but they have a LONG way down to go before they hit Jennifer Rice levels. I truly hope this city has a learned a LONG HARD lesson about why you don’t believe bullshit hype and vote for a hippie masked as a politician.


#14

[quote=“bthedog”]

You’re pleased with the work Jack and Council has done?? And you have the audacity to criticize Brain for having supported Rice? Whatever her failings, she has been nowhere near as incompetent and ineffective as this current council.

I am not giving council and mayor a pass at all here…but WOW…what a wild statement that is. Jennifer Rice is the worst MLA this riding has seen in a LONG LONG time…that was on top of an absolute pitiful performance as a city councilor.

Our current crop of councilors and mayor may not be the best, but they have a LONG way down to go before they hit Jennifer Rice levels. I truly hope this city has a learned a LONG HARD lesson about why you don’t believe bullshit hype and vote for a hippie masked as a politician.[/quote]

So, bthedog, let’s see, this Council, “led” by Jack Mussallem, has:

  • Misled us by saying the acquisition of LOT 444 was to protect our water, only to announce AFTER the alternate approval process that it is for LNG development. That is, as Mr. Brain said, failing to be honest. Oh, and I’m wondering if Lax Kw’Alaams was consulted on this?
  • Refusing to be in the environmental assessment process re: Pinnacle, and then bitching about it later
  • Watson Island . . . well, this could fill a book, couldn’t it?
  • Citywest: they were surprised when they didn’t get the $2 mil dividend. What??
  • Allowed the union to add a budget item (undermining management) and didn’t give citizens details
  • Dropped the ball on PTI, which originally wanted to set up on Rupert property.
    I’m sure there is more that I can’t think of at the moment.
    And then there is, of course, Mr. Brain’s concern about a divided and uninformed public and why there has to be an in-camera meeting for EVERY session.
    Now, I am no fan of Ms. Rice either and, perhaps I am just not keeping an eye on her work as much as you have been so, please, list all of her screw-ups in her brief time as MLA, that eclipse council’s.

#15

[quote=“drummerboy”]So, bthedog, let’s see, this Council, “led” by Jack Mussallem, has:

  • Misled us by saying the acquisition of LOT 444 was to protect our water, only to announce AFTER the alternate approval process that it is for LNG development. That is, as Mr. Brain said, failing to be honest. Oh, and I’m wondering if Lax Kw’Alaams was consulted on this?[/quote]

Let’s entertain a different idea of Lot 444 for a moment. Suppose Council was in fact acquiring Lot 444 in order to protect our water supply. Who is to say that the Imperial/Exxon LNG group was not looking to acquire LOT 444 from the province themselves? Perhaps the City acquired it in order to have control over how the land is developed so that the water system didn’t become compromised. So many knee jerk reactions, premature judgements and assumptions, and a considerable lack of critical thinking.

for.gov.bc.ca/Land_Tenures/t … index.html

criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm


#16

Not a lot of critical thinking on the City’s part and they didn’t scoop Lot 444 before Imperial bought it from the Province.

Lot 444 was originally railway lands that the City acquired many years ago, by the 1940s anyway. The problem was that owning lands does not mean that the lands are within civic boundaries. All that the Province agreed to was to adjust the boundaries so that Lot 444, which the City already owned, is now within the City’s boundaries.

This council originally proposed a much larger boundary extension, but the consultations did not go well, so they pared back the proposal to include only Lot 444. No one was likely to object to City-owned land being included in their jurisdiction. Some of the news coverage was unclear about that and may have lead readers astray.

I would not go so far as to say that the Mayor was dishonest by saying that the boundary extension was needed to protect the watershed, then two weeks after the Province agreed it turned out to be for a possible LNG plant. The fine print of the boundary extension proposal mentioned industrial uses as a possibility.

The problem is more that the current Mayor is less than forthcoming with information. The idea of proactive disclosure seems to be unfamiliar to him.


#17

[quote=“Crazy Train”]
This is another concern of mine. I’m all for responsible resource development but considering his affiliations and past positions on development, does Re-Think Rupert involve a drastic change towards environmental activism?[/quote]

I definitely get what you are saying and share the concern, but I would not say that electing Mr Brain would result in a “drastic change towards environmental activism”. The part I disagree with is “drastic change”. Rupert already has an environmental activist Mayor and council.

Lets looks at what a business journalist thinks.

Keith Shaeffer recently toured the area and wrote a fairly long article for the Financial Post and a shorter one for the Oil and Gas Investment Bulletin (the latter is discussed in another thread). North Coast Review gives an overview of both articles with links for those who wish to read in greater depth < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … pects.html >.

The NCR article notes: “Something that for the most part is probably fairly close to mark, though his perception of the “online resumes of councillors saying how they want to be guardians for the environment against industry” might cause a few council members to go “who us?””

Mr Shaeffer also describes the council as “heavily weighted to the political left” and adds “nobody sees development or LNG as a critical issue for the municipal elections coming this November”. He also contrasts the Rupert council with the “pro-development” Port Edward council.

The council’s handling of the Pinnacle Pellet environmental assessment is a good illustration. Rather than participate on an inter-governmental level, the council, by all appearances with the Mayor’s concurrence, boycotted the process. That is the sort of tactic that one expects from an environmental lobby group; not an elected government. They apparently wanted to make a statement rather than help formulate how the plant would be regulated and monitored, particularly to address the concerns of adjacent residents.

The election is not about Mr Brain as pro-environment candidate vs the current Mayor as a pro-industry candidate. It’s more about which would do a better of job of making a pro-environmental council more effective, particularly in its’ dealings with industry (LNG and otherwise). In a sense it’s about which would be a better process manager. I leave aside the possibility of a third mayoralty candidate who may have a different approach than either of them.


#18

[quote=“BTravenn”]Not a lot of critical thinking on the City’s part and they didn’t scoop Lot 444 before Imperial bought it from the Province.

Lot 444 was originally railway lands that the City acquired many years ago, by the 1940s anyway. The problem was that owning lands does not mean that the lands are within civic boundaries. All that the Province agreed to was to adjust the boundaries so that Lot 444, which the City already owned, is now within the City’s boundaries.

This council originally proposed a much larger boundary extension, but the consultations did not go well, so they pared back the proposal to include only Lot 444. No one was likely to object to City-owned land being included in their jurisdiction. Some of the news coverage was unclear about that and may have lead readers astray.

I would not go so far as to say that the Mayor was dishonest by saying that the boundary extension was needed to protect the watershed, then two weeks after the Province agreed it turned out to be for a possible LNG plant. The fine print of the boundary extension proposal mentioned industrial uses as a possibility.

The problem is more that the current Mayor is less than forthcoming with information. The idea of proactive disclosure seems to be unfamiliar to him.[/quote]

Thank you for the historical background and insight. This is really the type of information that I’m interested in hearing. I prefer to rationalize and base an opinion on the best information available so this certainly makes my earlier suggestion irrelevant. Still, too often people jump to conclusions without factoring in other possibilities.


#19

[quote=“BTravenn”]

[quote=“Crazy Train”]
This is another concern of mine. I’m all for responsible resource development but considering his affiliations and past positions on development, does Re-Think Rupert involve a drastic change towards environmental activism?[/quote]

I definitely get what you are saying and share the concern, but I would not say that electing Mr Brain would result in a “drastic change towards environmental activism”. The part I disagree with is “drastic change”. Rupert already has an environmental activist Mayor and council.

Lets looks at what a business journalist thinks.

Keith Shaeffer recently toured the area and wrote a fairly long article for the Financial Post and a shorter one for the Oil and Gas Investment Bulletin (the latter is discussed in another thread). North Coast Review gives an overview of both articles with links for those who wish to read in greater depth < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … pects.html >.

The NCR article notes: “Something that for the most part is probably fairly close to mark, though his perception of the “online resumes of councillors saying how they want to be guardians for the environment against industry” might cause a few council members to go “who us?””

Mr Shaeffer also describes the council as “heavily weighted to the political left” and adds “nobody sees development or LNG as a critical issue for the municipal elections coming this November”. He also contrasts the Rupert council with the “pro-development” Port Edward council.

The council’s handling of the Pinnacle Pellet environmental assessment is a good illustration. Rather than participate on an inter-governmental level, the council, by all appearances with the Mayor’s concurrence, boycotted the process. That is the sort of tactic that one expects from an environmental lobby group; not an elected government. They apparently wanted to make a statement rather than help formulate how the plant would be regulated and monitored, particularly to address the concerns of adjacent residents.

The election is not about Mr Brain as pro-environment candidate vs the current Mayor as a pro-industry candidate. It’s more about which would do a better of job of making a pro-environmental council more effective, particularly in its’ dealings with industry (LNG and otherwise). In a sense it’s about which would be a better process manager. I leave aside the possibility of a third mayoralty candidate who may have a different approach than either of them.[/quote]

Point taken however either one is likely to also be working with a different Council, if ever so slight. Environmental activism is becoming increasingly prominent. You just have to look at Jen Rice getting the nod over a labour rep like Joanna Larson to realize that. Balance is still needed though because the bills somehow still need to be paid.


#20

[quote=“Crazy Train”]

[quote=“BTravenn”]Not a lot of critical thinking on the City’s part and they didn’t scoop Lot 444 before Imperial bought it from the Province.

Lot 444 was originally railway lands that the City acquired many years ago, by the 1940s anyway. The problem was that owning lands does not mean that the lands are within civic boundaries. All that the Province agreed to was to adjust the boundaries so that Lot 444, which the City already owned, is now within the City’s boundaries.

This council originally proposed a much larger boundary extension, but the consultations did not go well, so they pared back the proposal to include only Lot 444. No one was likely to object to City-owned land being included in their jurisdiction. Some of the news coverage was unclear about that and may have lead readers astray.

I would not go so far as to say that the Mayor was dishonest by saying that the boundary extension was needed to protect the watershed, then two weeks after the Province agreed it turned out to be for a possible LNG plant. The fine print of the boundary extension proposal mentioned industrial uses as a possibility.

The problem is more that the current Mayor is less than forthcoming with information. The idea of proactive disclosure seems to be unfamiliar to him.[/quote]

Thank you for the historical background and insight. This is really the type of information that I’m interested in hearing. I prefer to rationalize and base an opinion on the best information available so this certainly makes my earlier suggestion irrelevant. Still, too often people jump to conclusions without factoring in other possibilities.[/quote]

I accept your apology.