I was both saddened and angered at the venomous letter from Fox McKinley that was recently published in The NEWS under the heading of ‘Follow the money’.
As one of Barry Avis’ key team members, I am compelled to comment on the content of that letter.
Firstly, I take full responsibility for not having Michelle Stilwell’s personal phone number so that Avis could congratulate Stilwell on her victory. Avis was recorded by the media in offering congratulations to both Stilwell and David Coupland for well-run campaigns, and for Stilwell’s victory.
This is on the record. I am to blame for the missed phone call, and I apologize to both Avis and Stilwell for my error.
McKinley’s allegations that Avis “refused to take his hat out of the last municipal election ring until he secured the NDP nomination” is false. Barry decided well before the November nomination meeting that he would not run for re-election so that if he won the nomination and subsequently the MLA position, the citizens of Qualicum Beach would be spared a costly $12,000 byelection.
By the same reasoning, Avis also stepped down from his vice-chair position on the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities, and gave up his ascension to the chair position. Both of these decisions were highly responsible actions and are above criticism for anyone knowing Avis, his service to our communities and the truth of the matter.
I was there listening to the media interviewing a very shocked and disheartened Avis that night when the question of running again in municipal politics arose. Avis’ truthful response was that it might be a consideration. Nothing more, nothing less.
McKinley then wrote about the citizens of Qualicum Beach being thrown under the bus with Avis’ decision not to run for municipal re-election, then he rants about the possible re-unification of the “gang of three” being the last nail in QB’s coffin. Which is it?
As for McKinley’s comment: “An election brings out the best and worst of people, and often speaks to character or lack of same.” I would strongly agree. What kind of man kicks another when he is down?
The provincial election is over. Save your venom and spite for another occasion.
To attempt to discredit Avis in anticipation of the possibility that he might serve the community again after nine-plus years of outstanding service says a lot about the McKinley’s character and possible motives.