CSRD dismisses complaint against Loni Parker over Catherwood comments

By David F. Rooney

An official complaint containing serious allegations leveled at Loni Parker, director of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Area B, regarding the discussion about the Catherwood Road annexations has been dismissed by th3e CSRD board.

Loni Parker
Director, Area B,
Columbia Shuswap Regional District

“There have been very serious allegations made against me publicly in Revelstoke,” she told The Current on Thursday evening, January 19. “For your information the Columbia Shuswap Regional District recently received an official complaint from an individual about my conduct in the matter and this has been dealt with by the CSRD board of directors on January 19th.”

Parker said she is not allowed to identify the complainant. (Click here to read her original column, published on December 10.)

Following is a public statement regarding these allegations.:

“That the CSRD Board authorize the following statement for release from the January 19, 2017 In Camera (Closed) Meeting:

“The CSRD recently received a letter of complaint from an individual who was concerned about statements made by an elected official on the CSRD Board (Electoral Area B Director, Loni Parker) in relation to a boundary annexation process covering properties located in Electoral Area B to be included into the City of Revelstoke boundaries;

“The CSRD takes complaints about the conduct of its elected officials seriously and has carefully considered the concerns;

“The CSRD has concluded that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the Area B Director and that the statements made do not contravene any legal requirements or CSRD policies.   It is the position of the CSRD Board that elected officials are entitled to hold strong views on issues of public importance and are entitled to speak their minds about such matters.  Courts have recognized that political candidates are often elected on the basis of their views and beliefs and that their political involvement ought to be fostered and encouraged.  The freedom to express one’s viewpoint regarding political matters is also protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In this instance, therefore, the CSRD takes the position that Director Parker was permitted to express her views and to advocate in respect of a matter that she feels is important to her constituents.  The CSRD does not believe that Director Parker’s conduct runs afoul of any legal requirements, the CSRD Code of Ethics policy nor the Provincial Alternative Approval Process Guidelines in relation to the recent Alternative Approval Process undertaken by the City of Revelstoke in latter, 2016;

“As such, the CSRD will not be taking any further action at this time.”

Parker said that she has never been accused of any kind of wrongdoing during her 23 years as an elected official.

“I would rather have seen this entire process be carried out in public,” she said. “I felt the public deserved that.”

However, once a formal complaint was received, it was referred to the board, which dealt with it in camera, Parker said.