Waste-to-energy controversy impacted the mayoral race – candidates

The Waste-to-Energy facility was one of seven options a consulting firm laid out in a report for dealing with the region’s solid waste

Director Jim Abram’s “false statements” greatly affected Campbell River’s mayoral race, says outgoing councillor Ziggy Stewart.

Stewart, who ran for mayor along with fellow outgoing councillor Roy Grant, says Strathcona Regional District Director Abram’s newsletter regarding a mass burn site tainted the election.

“His comments caused irreversible damage to mine and councillor Grant’s mayoralty campaign,” Stewart said. “I expect him to acknowledge he was wrong and apologize publicly to myself, councillor Grant and really the citizens of Campbell River.”

Abram wrote in his twice monthly director’s report, distributed to his constituents on Quadra Island, that “Campbell River has high hopes for a facility at the Elk Falls mill site for a ‘mass burn site’ site…that means no sorting, just dumping raw garbage into an incinerator and lighting it up.”

The Waste-to-Energy facility was one of seven options a consulting firm laid out in a report to the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Board for dealing with the region’s solid waste. But Stewart said that option did not make the short list for consideration and said Abram’s report contained “false statements.”

“He flat out lied,” Stewart said. “He could’ve corrected his statements at any time, but he chose not to. This was politics at its worst, which overshadowed common sense with fear and misinformation.”

Stewart said during the election campaign, rumours of a mass burn site spread like wildfire and both he and Grant received several angry phone calls and e-mails. One e-mail, from a community-formed advisory committee, lead by Duncan Bay road residents, singled out Grant and Stewart for supporting burning garbage at the Elk Falls mill site and told other members of the group who they should and should not vote for. “It was all based on Abram’s comments – they were false,” Stewart said. “So all of this was crap.”

Abram said his newsletter had nothing to do with the election.

“I cannot be held responsible for what happened in the Campbell River mayoral race,” Abram said. “I’m not going to rise to the bait. The fact is I was reporting what came out of the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management meeting (Nov. 3).

“I apologized profusely to both candidates who feel they have been wronged at the meeting, apparently for something I had no intention of doing.”

Grant said Abram’s words have caused irrepairable damage.

“This article was very unfair to the Campbell River directors around this table (Regional District) and to the two incumbent city councillors not on the SRD (Strathcona Regional District) Board,” Grant said. “Then, without bothering to first gather any facts, and with the purpose of fear-mongering to the Campbell River public, this article was used by one of the Campbell River mayoral candidates by advertising ‘no burning garbage’ in both local newspapers, the day before the municipal election.

“It doesn’t matter how the Quadra director (Abram) tries to stickhandle his way around this  issue, it did significant irrepairable damage to our community. What a way to destroy the trust, the collaboration and teamwork we (most of us) had built up over the years.”

Just Posted

First responders searched area at Clinton Rd. near Stories Beach south of Campbell River today

First responders rushed to Clinton Rd. near Stories Beach today after initial… Continue reading

Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

The City of Campbell River issued an evacuation order for four homes… Continue reading

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Power outages in Campbell River region after last nights storm

Stormy weather across the region has knocked out the power for many… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read