———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 8:34 AM
Subject: Please forward this to Chief Rich:
To: “Ian MacDonald, APD” <imacdonald@abbypd.ca>
Cc: Bill Flitton <BFlitton@abbotsford.ca>, Henry Braun <hbraun@abbotsford.ca>, Ross Siemens <rsiemens@abbotsford.ca>, George Murray <gmurray@abbotsford.ca>, Nancy Friesen <NFriesen@abbotsford.ca>, Darryl <Darryl.Plecas.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “deJong.MLA, Mike” <Mike.deJong.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “Gibson.MLA, Simon” <simon.gibson.mla@leg.bc.ca>, “systems@ombudsman.bc.ca” <systems@ombudsman.bc.ca>, Conflict of Interest <conflictofinterest@coibc.ca>

Hello Chief Rich:                                                                                                                                                                      November 18, 2016

Given the big job you have protecting our City and solving major crimes, it might be difficult to find time to follow up on my charge against our Mayor and Council.  I’ll proceed with the faint hope that you will see the problem that I ask you to investigate, as worthy of your time.

Abbotsford’s City leadership has not always been above board, and in the present situation pertaining to my own community, I don’t believe the City is acting with integrity. Over the years there have been times when the City engaged in deception, and whether staff acted on their own, or were accommodating the will of their bosses, is not always clear.  So a little history here showing a pattern of questionable behaviour:

I along with 7 or 8 other residents did a cross-check on a sliver of the election material in 2005 because of widespread reports about election violations, and multiple voting by groups of people being transported from poll to poll.  There was interference with voters, right in the polling places, and people being told they could vote twice.  Bill Flitton admitted that he saw the same men show up with van loads of people that were transported to other polling stations. Bill said he warned them to stop or he would ‘call the boys in blue’.  I asked him why he would not immediately call police, since elections are incredibly important, and determine who and how our country is run.

Sometime before 2005, George Peary had Council vote to move us from the system used Federally, to one that allowed people to vote at any of the 26 or so polling places,  and Bill Flitton decided to set up counting machines. These merely counted numbers, but did not delete voter’s names.  So it was child’s play to vote at any or many of those 26 places, in the Advance polls, and again on Saturday, at all of them if you really  wanted to. There were numerous reports of irregularities.  So after hearing a lot of stories of election abuse, I challenged the election results.

I began to examine the election material and showed Bill, who was the Chief Election Officer, a substantial stack of late registrations that had more blanks than filled-in information.  Easily one-third of that pile, (over 1,200 as I recall)  should  not have been allowed to vote.  Bill just brushed that off, as of no consequence.  [NOTE:  The difference between George Ferguson  and Mary Reeves was 1,236 votes.]

Because of the complexity of cross-referencing every polling station to every other polling station and to the Advance days as well, a group of 8 very competent, and concerned citizens spent an afternoon on a specific and narrow focus.  Someone found a man with a three-part name, same address, and same signature, who voted the Advance and again at Rick Hansen on general voting day.  Every one of us examined it and showed it to the staff who were guarding the room.  We made clear notes and pinned them on the material, as of course we could not remove anything from the room.

I worked to restore our system from this ‘voting at large’ back to the voting within your own grid, and in the course of that journey met again with Bill Flitton and Kelly Harms, the FOI officer.  I was grateful that Lynn Perrin had come alongside me, in the attempt to restore sanity to our local elections, so she was present when I asked Bill what the police had done about the man who voted twice.  There are severe warnings posted everywhere, of the dire consequences for violating the sanctity of democratic voting standards.   But Bill said, “They did not see it.”  Nor, it seems, did the provincial elections people see this clear case of election fraud.

There was so much wrong with the entire 2005 election, that I asked for an outside audit to be done.  You may wonder why I’m so adamant about this.  I’ve worked pretty much every election Federal, Provincial and Municipal, for 30 years, or more, and even run a few times myself.  Four times I’ve supervised polling places.  I was a banker and did a lot of cross-checking and looking for cheque forgery.   Most of all I cherish democracy and would probably have worked elections without being paid for that privilege.

After our mini cross-check, Bill told me that he and Thoiresa Strong and a third person (McKenzie, I think) divided the material three ways and took it to their respective homes over the weekend, and they had found nothing amiss.  That was impossible given the complex nature that ‘voting at large’ had created. There was a large room jam packed with boxes.  It was a quagmire that could not have been calmly divided into three parts and done apart from each other as it needed constant comparison of all 26-28 returns, each to every other.   And Bill had earlier said all that election material had to stay securely locked in that room.

Bill refused to call for an outside audit and told me he had the material destroyed after 30 days.   Lynn and I worked against some serious opposition but finally managed, to get the old voting system restored.  That too was a journey showing a City that did not care much about honesty.  By ‘the City’, ultimately I mean Mayor and Council since staff cannot rise higher than their overlords, and take their direction from the top.

When the City decided to go into the hockey business I asked for the contract signed with the Abbotsford Heat and Global Spectrum.  Every few months I’d drop by the 5th floor, and staff were always pleasant but kept saying that some minor adjustments were still being made.  Finally, nine months later, they produced the contract that had been signed and finalized a full nine months earlier.  Someone there lied,….repeatedly, ….. and directed staff to do likewise,….for nine months.

Over the last few decades there have been many times I’ve personally known of situations that cast a pall over the conduct of Council or staff.  People here have grown rich buying property in the Agricultural Land Reserves and turning them into massive truck parks.  Monster houses have popped up everywhere that get converted to multiple illegal suites.  Occasionally the City sends someone to check out the complaints of neighbours, but astonishingly seem oblivious to the obvious. So the scofflaws in Abbotsford get richer. My observation, from the periphery of the workings of City Hall, does not inspire confidence that integrity is behind all of Council decisions.

Now, what Council does matters to me personally and threatens to impact on our home, and neighbourhood.

We need senior government to step in.  We need the BC Ombudsman, the BC Conflict of Interest to investigate, and I believe we need you, the Abbotsford Police to act as independent investigators. Mayor Braun and Councillor Siemens used their office in an attempt to silence my questions, and opposition to their flawed process.

There are millions to be made in the buying and selling of land, and land in the Lower Mainland is becoming less affordable.  The current practice of notifying affected neighbours about development applications invites corruption.  Would the Mayor or Police Chief or Premier tolerate being told of zoning changes enacted behind their backs, while they were away from home for a mere two weeks?  No, of course not.  But such appalling disregard for property rights doesn’t happen to people at the top.  Neither should ordinary citizens be threatened with the loss of their quality of life without plenty of notice of proposed by-law changes.  A ten day notice may as well be no notice, and indeed we know here in our neighbourhood that postcards sent from City Hall ten days prior to a Public Hearing drift in at different rates so that in reality the notice becomes meaningless.

Our MLAs need to make substantial changes to the way the tax-paying public is treated by the Province and local governments.

I want to be wrong in my doubts about the integrity of my Council, but  Mayor and Council do not answer some critically important questions that must be answered.  Instead they have abused the power of their office to silence me, something that I think the Police should take seriously. Resorting to intimidation is what we expect from third-world tyrants, not Canadian mayors and Councillors.

Does the business of re-zoning my neighbourhood have unsavoury influences behind the scenes? Land has become almost unattainable for average wage earners, but speculators have been scouring our neighbourhood offering immediate cash, not for a home to live in, but for land to flip into more lucrative zoning.

It is deeply concerning that the City would take our properties that are all mobiles and modulars, and underlay our area with a zoning that specifically does NOT allow for mobiles and modulars. What is behind such an underhanded move? For the moment we are still covered by a 44 year Land Use Contract, but the City will not provide written clarity about the question of ‘grandfathering‘, nor why they would choose a zoning so threatening to our continued lives on the land we bought, knowing the terms of the LUCs. If the City has written to people here, I don’t know of it, but they certainly are not providing answers to the question I have.

After many requests for answers, and watching Mayor and Council divert attention from the issue to pretend that I have spread misinformation, then having George Murray engage in some artful lying, I believe there is corruption behind the stonewalling at City Hall.

I don’t want this to be true, but it looks like City Hall is determined to make our properties available to speculators. Some neighbours want RS3, but for those who just want to remain in their homes, the uncertainty RS3 creates about our future right to stay on our land, with potentially significant property tax increases, uncertainty about grandfathering make it imperative this does not become theft of the land by rezoning.

I’m sincerely sorry to bother the Police Dept. when so much tragedy demands your time, but I also believe that democracy depends on integrity in our elected leaders and civil servants.

So I am asking the Abbotsford Police Department to investigate the push to rezone our mobile homes on their own lands.  The process to discharge Provincial LUCs by the year 2024 is seriously flawed and disadvantages the public while favouring insiders and land speculators.

The behaviour of our Council in all this makes me think there may be corruption at City Hall, and I ask you to investigate.

Gerda Peachey

When justice is perverted the land mourns.    https://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/13645/