Democracy rules

Democracy felt a breath of fresh air on December 5

I write to address Mayor Teunis Westbroek’s self-serving statement that democracy in Qualicum Beach suffered a grievous wound because he was not appointed to be the RDN representative. On the contrary, December 5 was a banner day for democracy in town affairs.

The foundations of western democracy stand on the principles of one person/one vote and that the majority shall govern. These principles are carried forward to the operation of our municipal council by provincial legislation.

The council votes and the majority’s decision becomes law. That is precisely what happened at the council meeting.

It is true Teunis Westbroek has been elected several times to the position of mayor. It is also true he has never been elected to sit on the RDN board. In the past, he has been appointed to the RDN. Under our laws it must have been by the council.

This time he tried to appoint himself. He did this after being advised that the new council believed the job should be rotated and each member should serve.

The mayor then embarked on a self-serving attempt to circumvent the democratic process by proclaiming that he had the right and power to appoint himself to any position he chose. He further claimed the right to make all appointments unilaterally.

The new council should be congratulated and celebrated for resisting this. More important, and more critical to democratic principles of governance, Council unanimously rejected and stopped the Mayor’s attempt to reduce the democratic power of Council and seize it for himself. That, Mr. Westbroek, is truly democracy in action!

It’s supposed to be “we the people” not “me the people.” It is often said that power corrupts. It is one of the great strengths of democracy that no one individual is allowed to seize powers for personal gain because our system employs checks and balances. Shame on the Mayor for stomping out of the meeting room and the reception! It is also said that true character is more often revealed in defeat than in victory.

Bravo to new councillors — Brouilette, Tanner, Luchtmeijer, and Willie. A fresh breeze of democracy and transparency blows through Qualicum Beach town hall.

Craig Dutton

 

Qualicum Beach

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Adam Walker eager to get to work as Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Podcast: Longtime Qualicum Beach resident discusses politics, much more

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

(File photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Crooks hit businesses, vehicles

Oceanside RCMP received 288 complaints in one-week period

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read