I refer to Philip Round’s article on the City’s “surprise” about the response their election move received from Friends of Maple Pool. Mr. Round is an excellent journalist and I have always found him fair and balanced in everything he writes. His last article was no exception, but at the risk of “splitting hairs”, I would suggest one choice of words which might not have been the best.

Mr. Round suggested the Friends treated the City’s extended “olive branch” with a heavy dose of cynicism. I would suggest that the word “skepticism” better describes the response of the friends. Indeed, my observation is that our City Councillors own the patent on cynicism. I have read the brief and factual history of the lawsuit which is posted on the Friends’ website. It is clear to me that our councillors have dealt with Maple Pool’s owners and their supporters in an utterly cynical manner from their opening shots in 2010/11 right to the present time. Time and time again they have misled the Maple Pool team and the voters of Courtenay at every opportunity. If the Friends were not skeptical of the latest “peace offer”, made in the context of the upcoming elections, then they would be hopeless fools. The public declarations from Bill Anglin even invoke precisely the same deceptions Council has used before and which they apparently think can be used as many times as necessary, without the community catching on. For example, if you read the lawsuit history on the Friends’ website, you will see that the senior City Hall staff member conducting talks with MP’s lawyer back in 2011 gave his assurance that the deadline of July 31 of that year was flexible and could be moved back if talks were progressing. Then he lured the Owners into making a rezoning application, which was turned down in about 12 hours and the City immediately filed suit. Today, Bill Anglin says “Let’s put this off until January (after the elections) and even that date is not written in stone. It can be put back again ‘if talks between the parties are still making progress’. ” As Yogi Berra observed, “This is deja vu all over again!”

For example, if you read the lawsuit history on the Friends’ website, you will see that in 2012, on the verge of a hearing in Supreme Court, with the threatened intervention of Pivot Legal and the raising of a constitutional issue, our Councillors announced an adjournment of the lawsuit for six months. Subsequently they extended the adjournment for a further six months because engineering data was unavailable from the City’s engineers. Three months later the engineering data was still unavailable, so they decided to bring on the lawsuit!