Peter Ladner Submits Motion, Citing "Unfinished Business"

Defeated NPA councilor Peter Ladner may be cleaning out his desk and leaving city politics soon, but it seems he couldn’t depart without leaving a legacy behind – a motion Vision councilor Tim Stevenson called “sour grapes.”

The sentiment was seconded by COPE’s David Cadman.

Ladner, who lost the recent city mayoral race to Vision’s Gregor Robertson by 19,000 votes, put forward what would be his final motion at City Hall, requesting a lawyer to look into the alleged leak of documents pertaining to the Olympic village construction project in southeast False Creek. The motion did pass unanimously, but only after sections that raised the ire of councilors George Chow, David Cadman and Tim Stevenson were removed.

Speaking before the meeting, Ladner said that his motion was “a piece of unfinished business,” and that he felt compelled to introduce it because of “a very serious ethical breach that has occurred.”

“I think it needs to be investigated and I think there should be consequences,” Ladner said, explaining his motion would clear the air and bring back trust in city politicians.

Councilor Suzanne Anton, the only NPA incumbent to be re-elected, left no doubt about how she felt about Ladner’s motion.
“The taking of that document and the subsequent leaking of it, and the use of that information politically during the election, has the potential to be very damaging to the city, and I will be supporting it,” Anton said.

However, not everyone on council felt Ladner’s aspirations were so noble. COPE councilor David Cadman rejected Ladner’s claim that a legal inquiry was necessary, asking why a lawyer would need to conduct a parallel investigation when the matter has already been referred to the Vancouver Chief of Police.

“The mayor has defined this [the investigation of the allegedly leaked document] as the ‘theft of property,’ so is this motion just a back-up?”

Cadman said “it is basically an attempt at the end of a term of office, to basically besmirch an incoming council with an agenda that Peter Ladner has.”

When asked whether he thought the council should just drop the issue and move on, Cadman said that “to do this as a parting shot, at the last meeting, when you have a majority, I think is just sour grapes.”

Thank you to Joshua Hergesheimer and The Langara Voice for permission to use this article. Joshua's piece will appear in the Langara Voice on 26/11/08.

In photo above Peter Ladner discusses his motion as retiring Mayor Sam Sullivan looks on. By Linda Solomon

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