Mayor Wayne Baldwin says flyers posted along the waterfront pier and archway – advertising an event with Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell – are a slap in the face to the citizens of White Rock.
Baldwin criticized and tweeted a photograph of the flyers Saturday, which promote the event under the Democracy Direct banner.
“Thoughtless, disrespectful Democracy Direct signs were posted all over the pier (Natnl Historic Site).& on Butler Memorial Arch. Ridiculous!” Baldwin tweeted from @WhiteRockMayor.
“Pier is Natnl Historic Site. Never in the past 50 yrs until now has anyone been so disrespectful as to post notices on it as Democracy Direct just did. Absolutely shameful. And this group wants to get elected to Council?!! Really!!” Baldwin said in a second message.
Democracy Direct, which is directed by Darryl Walker, Dennis Lypka, Erika Johanson, Mike Pearce and Carol Blacklaws, is a group of residents who will be putting together a slate of candidates for the Oct. 20 civic election.
Chappell is guest speaker at the March 22 event – 7-8 p.m. at Centennial Park Arena – and has maintained that he is not involved politically but was invited to speak about SFN heritage and their relationship with their White Rock neighbours.
Pier is Natnl Historic Site. Never in past 50 yrs until now has anyone been so disrespectful as to post notices on it as Democracy Direct just did. Absolutely shameful. And this group wants to get elected to Council?!! Really!!
— Mayor of White Rock (@WhiteRockMayor) March 17, 2018
Walker, who is the chairman of the group, told Peace Arch News Tuesday morning that he had no knowledge of the flyers on the pier.
“We didn’t have anybody posting anything under Democracy Direct. This is the first that I’ve heard of it. It’s hard to comment on something that you don’t know about,” he said.
Walker made note of “other groups out there” that are “as equally frustrated as we are as to what’s going on in White Rock.”
“I think now I’ll probably have to make a few phone calls to find out what exactly is going on or who indeed is posting this information,” he said.
“We have the event coming up, we’re pleased to get the notoriety.”
Tuesday morning, Baldwin elaborated on his tweets, noting to PAN that the pier archway was donated by the Butler family in 2007 as a memorial. The archway adorns what was a favourite hangout spot of the Butlers’ son, Jeff, who suffered a fatal injury during a hockey game in 1985.
Baldwin said putting flyers on the archway is kind of like putting them on a gravestone.
“That’s what angers me. It’s a thoughtless thing to have done.”
He said it was the first time he’s seen notices posted to the pier light-posts and archway.
“Never seen it before, ever. Never. In about 40 years.”
UPDATE: Johanson called PAN after print deadline Tuesday morning to say that the pier “is not a historic site.”