CRD has no respect for the law

Re: “Polak loath to take on sewage mess,” April 10.

I first arrived in the capital region in 2001. As a young idealist newly recruited to serve in the provincial government, I was assigned to assist the minister responsible for the creation of the groundbreaking Community Charter legislation.

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For the next two years, I savoured every day of that job as we worked to make history in becoming the first province to officially recognize and empower municipalities “as an order of government” that would be fully “autonomous” to serve “the will of the residents of their communities.” These quotes are from Part 1 — Principles, Purposes and Interpretation — of the Community Charter, passed into law on May 8, 2003.

My copy of the Community Charter is sacred to me. It is a first-edition printing, autographed by the now-deceased Hon. Ted Nebbeling, author of the Community Charter. He included a personal inscription to me that reads: “We made municipalities matter in ways that governments matter most. Governments closest to the people serve people the best.”

This past week, the Capital Regional District voted to officially request the provincial government to overrule the legitimate, autonomous and democratic decision of Esquimalt council. Not only is Esquimalt’s decision legally correct and protected in law by the Community Charter, but more importantly, it represents the will of our community.

In Esquimalt, we respect the law and we respect the people. Clearly, the CRD respects neither.

Tim Morrison

Councillor, Township of Esquimalt

 

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