I have no particular issue with Coun. Shellie Gudgeon’s qualifications to sit on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority board, but several points deserve comment.
Gudgeon claims there is a “systematic attempt to remove me from this post,” and has sought legal advice. First, she has not been confirmed to the position, so cannot be “removed.” Her comment smacks of a sense of entitlement, further evidenced by her wish to engage lawyers. Evidently the board has sought to clarify that nominations from various sectors for consideration are just that, and not assignments. One desperately hopes that the cost of her quest for “justice” is a personal one and not paid for by taxpayers.
A second and more troubling point is her assertion that failure to confirm her to the board is an erosion of democracy. A look at the composition of the board could lead one to think that the problem is one of too much democracy, not too little. The harbour authority does not dabble in fundamental liberties, it manages the city skyline. Every conceivable stakeholder seems to be represented on the board. Pam Madoff has apparently ably represented the city for the last few years and presumably the board would be happy to have her continue.
A glance through the paper reveals the great number of places in the world where people are risking their lives and futures to gain advances in freedom and dignity, the cornerstones of democracy. The suggestion that challenging Gudgeon’s “right” to a paid sinecure on the GVHA is an assault on democracy is offensive and demeans the concept.
J. David Walmsley
© Copyright 2013