Bring a Democratic Election Process to the Residents of Cultus Lake Park
Why should people sign this petition?
The reason people should sign this petition is to ask the candidates running in the Chilliwack-Hope By-Election if themselves and their party would support amending the outdated (1932) Cultus Lake Park Act to Reflect 2012 Realities of the “Park”, especially bringing in a democratic election process. The Cultus Lake Park Act needs to be amended so that it:
1. Alleviates the “Dysfunction of the Cultus Lake Board” caused by having a majority of the members of the Board who live in Chilliwack and are elected from there versus the minority elected from Cultus Lake which is not part of Chilliwack.
2. Corrects the undemocratic election process it imposes on the residents of Cultus Lake Park (the “Park”). The Board needs to be elected by the people they govern like every other local government in British Columbia. A fundamental principle of our democracy.
3. Makes the elected officials accountable to the residents of the “Park” that they govern and the “Park” which also pays their remuneration and the total cost of the operation of the Park.
4. Provides the necessary checks and balances afforded all other residents living in B.C. As in the “Local Government Act” and “The Community Charter”.
The Dysfunction at the Cultus Lake Park Board arises because of the current election system that allows for 5 of the 7 Board members to be elected from and by Chilliwack residents. This is contrary to the B.C. Local Government Act which states that to vote in a local election the voter “must be registered as an elector of the jurisdiction.” Only 2 Board members actually reside in Cultus Lake Park and are elected by the Cultus Lake residents. For Chilliwack residents, that would be the same as having the majority of their Councillors being residents of Abbotsford, getting elected in Abbotsford by Abbotsford residents, but sitting on the Chilliwack Council. This would mean the Chilliwack residents could not vote the Abbotsford elected out of office for their bad decisions because they do not live and vote in Abbotsford. I’m sure the citizens of Chilliwack would not tolerate a government election process like this if it happened to them.
The dysfunction at Cultus Lake is a result of many things wrong with the Cultus Lake Park Act - Election/Governance System. What has and is happening at Cultus Lake has been going on for far too long and it has to change. A solution to the problem would be for the Provincial Government to amend the antiquated Cultus Lake Park Act (which has been done 7 times in the past) allowing the people at Cultus Lake Park to govern themselves and have an election system that follows the B.C. Local Government Act which states to vote in a local election the voter “must be registered as an elector of the jurisdiction.” For almost 20 years the ruling provincial governments refused to change the Park Act to correct this undemocratic process thus condoning it. If general local elections are the foundation of democratic local governments then the provincial government needs to support a democratic process at Cultus Lake. This lack of a democratic election process and accountability of the Cultus Lake Park Board to the people they govern needs to be a key issue in the coming Chilliwack by-election and failing that, the next provincial election.
Under comments: Can you please give your address? (at least your city) Just in case some one questions the validity of who you are. For those who have a lease at the lake can they put down Lease Holder. Thanks.
FYI - By-Election April 19, 2012
Update on the petition. Sue gathered over 300 signatures to date and has basically stopped as the by-election is this week. I personally met with NDP - Gwen O' Mahony and Liberal - Laurie Throness and explained why we started the petition and asked them if they support the idea of getting a democratic election process for the residents of Cultus Lake Park. They both agreed they would work with us (Cultus Lake Park) to get the current process changed. I only had a phone conversation with Conservative - John Martin and he too agreed but with the caveat that Chilliwack had no desire for the park.
At the all candidates meeting on April12th held at Sardis Senior I presented the candidates with a copy of the petition signatures, for public record, and reminded them I would follow up with whom ever was elected.
Sue and I would like to thank all the people who signed the petition as this shows strong support from them that change is needed.
Gary & Sue