Victoria requests change to harbour authority board rules

Councillor scolds Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on decision to reject her appointment

Victoria city councillors are fighting a decision by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority not to appoint their newest nominee to oversee the harbour authority.

Last week, the GVHA board told Coun. Shellie Gudgeon she lacked the skill set necessary to serve as one of 10 appointed directors, despite receiving unanimous endorsement from her fellow councillors.

“We’re running a harbour, so we want specific skills around cruise and tourism, terminals and transportation and the general marine sector and marinas,” said GVHA chair Bill Wellburn.

Several councillors publicly expressed concern over a 2011 bylaw change that allows the GHVA to accept or reject nominees to the board. Prior to the change, member agencies were able to appoint board members without being challenged.

“This is an unelected board declining the appointment of an elected official,” Gudgeon said. “This isn’t about personalities, this is about democracy.”

Coun. Pam Madoff, who currently represents Victoria on the GVHA board, was unavailable for comment.

The GVHA oversees federally owned land that includes Ogden Point, parts of the Inner Harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf, but has a unique structure that does not include direct accountability to an elected body.

The GVHA board is comprised of one director each from the City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, the Provincial Capital Commission, the Victoria/Esquimalt Harbour Society, Tourism Victoria, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Regional District. Another four directors are appointed from the community at large.

Wellburn said the model works well to serve competing interests and municipalities are still able to challenge any decisions at quarterly general meetings.

“There’s not many places, although we live on the tip of an Island, where commerce is conducted between land and sea,” he said. “We are a business that I see as an economic engine for the region.”

The GVHA board is holding a closed-door meeting Friday to consider a motion from the City of Victoria that would once again allow individual agencies to have final say over their appointed board members.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car in Victoria

Prior to fecal incident, witnesses said cyclist was verbally abusive to driver

Reducing harm with ‘I carry naloxone’ buttons

Victoria-based designer makes buttons with social justice messages

It took 10 Victoria households’ worth of property tax to remove the John A. Macdonald statue, watchdog says

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ group says the $30,000 could have been reduced with better planning

Coin-opperated pinball arcade opens in downtown Victoria

Quazar’s Arcade offers new and retro games, with approval from Jeff Goldblum

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

Victim’s girlfriend testifies on first day of 2016 Chemainus murder trial

“I was soaked in blood from the neck down”: witness

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read