Writer got a few things wrong about Township Council

Editor: A letter from Ole Sorensen (The Times, Aug. 2) was factually incorrect and lacked much of the truth in the issues he presented. I feel it is necessary for the electorate to get the correct story.

Firstly, there has been no move afoot to oust the mayor by any member of this council. Council has throughout this term maintained the dignity and word of the Community Charter to which we all must adhere and respect.

Where this mayor has violated the Community Charter, council has by majority vote dealt with both him and the issue accordingly. To say councillors have ‘tried to oust their mayor’ is not the truth.

Pay increases for council members are always a hot topic. Several years ago (before I was on council), the council of the day adopted a formula for pay increase that keeps any member of this council in step with others in the region and in communities of similar sizes. They are not overpaid in comparison.

Contrary to what Sorensen claimed, the Township of Langley did in fact have a “Stop work order” posted on the mushroom barn operation throughout the unfolding scenario at the farm.

Those orders were only applicable to those aspects of the farm buildings and operation which the Township had jurisdiction over. In this situation, the Township of Langley in fact  had the least jurisdictional authority.

Also having jurisdiction were the Ministry of Agriculture (Right to Farm legislation), Ministry of Environment, DFO, Work Safe B.C. and Metro Vancouver’s air quality branch.

The federal and provincial ministries involved had much greater impact and clout. Whether one agrees with how they handled their authority is a discussion for a different day, but what I can state unequivocally is that issues of an inter-jurisdictional nature such as this and landfill farming are the most challenging to solve.

For him to imply that it was the Township’s fault that three workers tragically lost their lives and two are in a vegetative state due to negligence is an absolute falsehood.

The Township, including myself as a councillor, took this issue seriously and pressured the various agencies on an ongoing basis.

In my case, I made a formal complaint to the Farm Industry Review Board.

Councillor Charlie Fox

Langley Township

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