Area B Director Noba Anderson. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Regional District board passes censure motions against Cortes Island director

Noba Anderson censured for releasing information distributed and discussed at in-camera meetings

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) board passed motions of censure against Electorial Area B (Cortes Island) director Noba Anderson.

The SRD Board of Directors held a Censure hearing on Oct. 24. According to a SRD press release, “censure is a quasi-judicial authority that the Board of Directors is given to protect governance and procedural fairness should a bylaw or code of conduct be contravened or a breach of the Local Government Act occur. The board may apply a range of penalties to an elected official as long as they do not fetter or limit the ability of the elected official to govern their constituents.”

In this case, Electoral Area B Director Noba Anderson was called into question for releasing information distributed and discussed at in-camera meetings and deemed by the board to be confidential. This is in violation of the Community Charter, SRD Bylaw No. 330 (Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018) and the Directors Oath of Office. Director Anderson and her legal representation were given the opportunity to speak to and respond to the allegations and censure motions.

At the conclusion of the hearing the SRD Board of Directors deemed that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Director Anderson released two in-camera legal opinions and an investigation report (known as the Peterson Report) without the Boards authority. With this decision debated the SRD Board of Directors passed the attached motions of Censure that the Board felt were measured and relevant.

“We respect that this process has been complex, lengthy and challenging for Directors, staff and the public, but believe that this process shows that the Board takes its responsibilities in regards to governance and confidentiality seriously,” says Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk. “With the Censure process now concluded, the Board intends to look toward getting back to its regular business and serving all the constituents of the Regional District.”

Due to the sensitivity of the confidential in-camera reports, the Board said it is not able to comment further on their content at this time.

The provisions of the censure motion exclude Anderson from being appointed to any select committees established by the board or any public hearing delegations established by the board, except for public hearing delegations established to consde rmatters affecting Electoral Area B. Anderson is also exlcuced from being designated, nominated or appointed by the board to any external organization or agency to represent the interests of the regional district. Anderson is also required to issue a written apology to the board acknowledging her transgressions.