Letters to the Editor

Mayor Corrigan's adversarial approach doesn’t pay off

Re: Mayor livid over minister’s comments (NewsLeader, April 4)

Mayor Derek Corrigan’s latest outburst against a provincial counterpart (“ignorance and arrogance are a bad combination”) is unlikely to endear him to other levels of government or First Nations—or business leaders for that matter. Claiming, in the media, to have been blind sided by the province’s decision to bypass Burnaby’s interest in purchasing the Willingdon lands, and demanding an apology from the minister is not going to put him in a position to do better for his constituents in future.

The mayor’s approach to dealing with adversity seems bent on isolating Burnaby from potential allies and keeping his head firmly in the sand regarding outcomes of their activities. A typical case that has gone largely unreported is his failure to communicate openly with one of his larger taxpayers—the Chevron refinery—while publicly grandstanding with threats of civil disobedience to block expansion of the pipeline that supplies it with feedstock.

Chevron has a Community Advisory Panel, which invariably invites City Hall to participate, and would no doubt welcome input from the municipality.

But representatives of the Corrigan administration are conspicuous in their absence, both from the panel and its quarterly meetings, which are open to the public.

At the well publicized annual forum last fall, residents raised concerns about tankers, rail cars, gas emissions, cancer rates and asthma. Many of the queries were deflected readily by Chevron and Metro Vancouver personnel with: “call and ask Burnaby.”

I would suggest to His Worship that his adversarial approach to all who do not share his views or do his bidding has cost this municipality a great deal in the past. And it will continue to do so in future.

While he sneers at the idea of diplomacy, I am grateful he does not have any influence on the world stage, where such an attitude generally leads to armed conflict.

Thomas Hasek

Burnaby

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