Achieving for Delta mayoral candidate George Harvie says unfounded allegations leveled against him by his former colleagues are nothing more than short-sighted, shameful and dishonest politics.
Harvie, in a written response to the Optimist, takes councillors Sylvia Bishop, Robert Campbell, Jeannie Kanakos and Bruce McDonald to task following their joint press conference Tuesday regarding Harvie’s role in Delta’s end-of-service benefit policy.
“Since day one of this campaign, I’ve been clear, I am running for mayor of Delta because there are things I want to achieve for this city that I couldn’t do as city manager,” said Harvie. “One of the most significant of those is requesting a new Delta City council to remove the end-of-service benefit, otherwise known as the golden handshake. While our Achieving for Delta team works hard as the only slate in this race to a run a positive campaign, our opponents continue to play nasty politics while conveniently downplaying their involvement in the very issues they raise.”
Harvie points to several official Delta public records where staff was given direction regarding the policy: the April 27, 2015 council meeting and the Jan. 9, 2017 council meeting.
“At the Jan. 9 meeting, after over a year of in-camera discussion of comparison to benefits provided to other Metro Vancouver councils, it was made very evident that the current Delta City council was determined to proceed with implementing the benefit and directed staff to proceed,” said Harvie. “Now under criticism for approving their own end-of-service benefit, it’s crystal clear that Ms. Bishop, Mr. Campbell, Ms. Kanakos, and Mr. McDonald are disingenuously deflecting their decision to Delta staff contrary to the evidence demonstrating their direction. Further, Ms. Bishop states that there should have been public consultation before council received the report. In my 17-years of providing council remuneration reports, there has never been prior public consultation. That is council’s decision, and council’s decision only.
“What is clear coming out of this joint press release is that not only are these candidates united in their negative campaign tactics – they are united in their repeated behaviour of putting their own public image in front of their personal accountability and respect to Delta staff.”