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Vancouver city councillor ‘shocked’ by report calling for his resignation

Vancouver city councillor ‘shocked’ by report calling for his resignation 2020-09-21Leave a comment

electrical bike Vancouver metropolis councillor ‘shocked’ by report calling for his resignation

Inexperienced Occasion Coun. Michael Wiebe topic of conflict-of-interest allegations

Inexperienced Occasion metropolis councillor Michael Wiebe’s future on council is unsure after an impartial investigator beneficial he resign due to votes he made in Could that allowed short-term patios throughout town together with one at his restaurant and one other at a pub during which he’s an investor.

Wiebe, who owns Eight ½ restaurant in Mount Nice and has a enterprise curiosity in Portside Pub in Gastown, instructed Glacier Media Sunday that lawyer Raymond Younger carried out the investigation into conflict-of-interest allegations introduced ahead by a citizen named Michael Redmond.

Younger additionally beneficial Wiebe, who’s one in every of three Inexperienced Occasion members on the 11-member council, be disqualified from holding workplace till the subsequent election in October 2022.

Wiebe, a former park board commissioner, was elected to council in October 2018.

“I’m stunned by this as a result of I assumed we have been nonetheless within the course of [of the investigation] as a result of I hadn’t had an opportunity to take a seat down and have an interview, or a Zoom name — and my authorized staff has not been concerned in any respect,” Wiebe mentioned.

“It is a little bit of a shock, however clearly that is a part of the system that we’re in, and there’s the reason why we have now issues in place so folks can really feel assured of their elected officers.”

Wiebe mentioned he acquired Younger’s report late Sunday afternoon after having to journey to Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s downtown residence to get a duplicate. Stewart had a duplicate as a result of it was his obligation below town’s Code of Conduct to rearrange the investigation after Redmond complained.

Wiebe mentioned he and Redmond agreed on Younger to research the allegations.

“I simply bought the report within the final hour as a result of it was not delivered to me,” mentioned Wiebe, noting a report was speculated to be mailed to him final week, however by no means arrived.

“I haven’t totally had a chance to digest the doc, or totally perceive the place I’m at.”

That mentioned, Wiebe declared his innocence within the matter, saying he “acted in good religion within the choice making that I’ve made, with the information and knowledge I had. So, proper now, that’s presently the place I stand.”

Wiebe wouldn’t share a duplicate of Younger’s report with Glacier Media, however a narrative first posted on the Georgia Straight’s web site Sunday after which on CBC’s web site offered particulars from the report, together with Younger’s conclusion that “his battle of curiosity actions can’t be seen as an error in judgement made in good religion.”

The allegations relate to votes Wiebe made Could 13 and 27 that superior council’s short-term patio program to permit patios at eating places, breweries and pubs.

The transfer was to help companies hit financially by pandemic-influenced bodily distancing measures and provincial well being orders that closed or lowered the operation of companies.

Each the Eight ½ restaurant and the Portside Pub utilized for patio licences — and acquired them — with Eight ½ restaurant being among the many first 14 authorized by town. Wiebe is now operating a enterprise known as Facet Hustle Sandwiches out of the restaurant

Wiebe instructed Glacier Media in June after town launched the names of the 14 companies granted short-term patios that he didn’t “profit greater than every other restaurant or enterprise that utilized for it, and I’m not gaining capability to earn more money. I’m in a position to attempt to maintain the enterprise for one more 12 months.”

On the time, he mentioned, he was helping breweries such because the Electrical Bicycle Brewing in Mount Nice get a short lived patio licence — a transfer, he added, that might solely harm the underside line of his restaurant, which is a couple of blocks south of the brewery.

On Sunday, he lamented the state of the meals service business.

“For the business these final couple of years…I imply I haven’t been in a position to take a penny out of the restaurant and I don’t see any cash coming from Portside proper now, both,” he mentioned. “I feel that that is an business simply holding on.”

Town’s Code of Conduct states: “A battle exists when a person is, or might be, influenced, or seem like influenced, by a private curiosity, monetary [pecuniary] or in any other case, when finishing up their public obligation. Private curiosity can embrace direct or oblique pecuniary curiosity, bias, pre-judgment, shut mindedness or undue affect.”

It was not clear Sunday what occurs subsequent within the course of, or what weight Younger’s report holds in whether or not Wiebe can stay in workplace. If Wiebe have been to resign or be ordered to go away workplace, such a transfer would set off a byelection.

Vancouver final held a municipal byelection October 2017 after former metropolis councilor Geoff Meggs resigned to take a job as Premier John Horgan’s chief of workers. Hector Bremner gained the vacant seat, solely to be defeated within the 2018 basic metropolis election.

That byelection, which additionally included a contest for vacant faculty board seats, price $1.2 million.

mhowell@vancourier.com

@Howellings

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