OMBUDSPERSON’S OFFICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE CITY’S NON-COMPLIANCE WITH OWN BYLAW

February 28, 2012

OMBUDSPERSON’S OFFICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE CITY’S NON-COMPLIANCE WITH OWN BYLAW

On November 17, 2011 the Vedder Mountain Preservation Group instructed the chairs to file a complaint with the Ombudspersons Office regarding the City of Chilliwack’s failure to implement its Soil Removal Bylaw. The complaint was filed on November 24th. At this point we know that our case is being investigated and that the Ombudsperson’s Office has requested information from the City.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST SHOWS CITY DID NOT ENFORCE
ITS OWN BYLAW

Early in February we received complete information (all the requested
Schedules) about the gravel removal at the Parmenter Road pit operated by
Kirkness for the year 2009. The documents show that Kirkness had a Ministry
of Mines permit to mine 113,000 cubic meters (or 245,000 Tonnes). He was
granted a City of Chilliwack Permit to remove 113,190 cubic meters, but Kirkness
actually removed 328,825 cubic meters (i.e. 3 times the permit amount). We
know from previous investigations that similar violations occurred in 2008 and
2010.

That amount of gravel removal is a violation of both the City’s Bylaw 1989, No.
1313 and the Ministry of Mines permit. The City took no action; the Ministry of
Mines took no action. How can we as citizens trust our governments when they
do not monitor or enforce the laws enacted to protect us and pecuniary gains
result from violating the law?

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