Mayoral candidate splits hairs with mayor over task force

Mayor Charlie Cornfield says comments Coun. Ziggy Stewart made at an all-candidates meeting last week are inaccurate

Mayor Charlie Cornfield says comments Coun. Ziggy Stewart made at an all-candidates meeting last week are inaccurate but Stewart disagrees and refuses to change them.

Stewart reported at Tuesday’s council meeting that he had received a letter from Cornfield one day prior, who was upset at comments Stewart made regarding the Future of Forestry Task Force at last Wednesday’s all candidates business forum, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart read out the entire letter for all of council to hear.

“Ziggy, at the all-candidates meeting you made a statement that you were the founder of the Future of Forestry Task Force. I don’t feel that’s accurate, ” Stewart read. “We all know I appointed you to the task force. The task force has worked well … but give credit where credit’s due, and I trust you will change your statement at the council meeting tomorrow.”

But Stewart, citing Webster’s dictionary, said if you look up the terms ‘found’ – first step of building – and ‘founder’ – one that founds or establishes – then his statement was accurate.

“It was certainly your idea to create the task force but if you take the meaning of the words ‘found’ and ‘founder’, I think you’ll agree I’m the founder of the Future of Forestry Task Force,” Stewart told council.

Stewart went on to say that at the current council’s inaugural meeting, Cornfield told council “we will be establishing a task force based on forestry” with a goal of rejuvenating the industry in Campbell River.

“I took the ‘we’ statement in your address to mean the entire council,” Stewart said.

The framework for the Future of Forestry Task Force was based on meetings between the city, forest industry experts, Rivercorp and the Chamber of Commerce in 2009.

Stewart is the council liaison to the task force.

The Future of Forestry Task Force last year recommended the city move to a Wood First policy (which council adopted), where newly built municipal buildings must use wood as the primary construction material. It has also recently researched and recommended a community forest for Campbell River, which council is still considering.