Gordy Robson. (Contributed)

Gordy Robson. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge council reinstates disciplined councillor after court action

Robson back on committees, deputy mayor rotation

After taking the city of Maple Ridge to court, a councillor has been restored to his full duties as a city councillor.

Coun. Gordy Robson was removed from city committees and the deputy mayor rotation in November of 2021 in an apparent disciplinary action.

While the matter was handled privately, details emerged after Robson took the case to the BC Supreme Court. He asked that the city’s actions be quashed.

READ ALSO: Councillor takes City of Maple Ridge to court

According to the documents he filed, Robson was accused of having disclosed confidential information about the city CAO’s resignation, as well as a controversial development along the Alouette River at 240th Street, known as the McBride development.

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Robson’s petition said he was not advised of the reason for an investigation, what authority it was proceeding under, nor the intent to hold a censure hearing.

He claimed the decision was made in the absence of his evidence or rebuttal, lacked background information, and failed in procedural fairness.

It appears his court action had the desired effect.

Robson will once again serve on the agricultural advisory committee, community heritage commission, audit and finance committee, and as the delegate to the Alouette River Management Society. He has also been restored to his place in the rotation of councillors who serve as deputy mayor, to fill the position in July and August this year.

The city called a special meeting, held privately on March 22, to deal with the issue.

While the city has declined to discuss the matter publicly, and has a general policy of not making legal matters public, the March 29 regular council meeting does reveal a motion on its agenda labelled “Legal advice – Councillor Robson,” that was passed on March 22.

It calls for council to rescind motions from November 2021, “and to allow legal counsel to take steps to bring Councillor Robson’s petition to an end and to report back to council forthwith.”

Robson has consistently argued against council conduct bylaws, because they are enforced by other members of council, who are put in the position of judging the behaviour of councillors who could be political rivals.

He has been pushing for provincial oversight of city council conduct, and had a motion endorsed by the Union of BC Municipalities calling for a new Independent Office of Integrity for Local Government. It was also endorsed by Maple Ridge council.

Robson offered no comment about the new council motion, or the petition he brought against the city.

READ ALSO: UBCM adopts Maple Ridge resolution about new office of integrity

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