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Union Bay chair says Thursday meeting moved without notice due to fear of disruption

UNION BAY, B.C- Ted Haraldson will be keeping the doors closed.

That’s what’s been indicated by Haraldson, who is currently serving as the chair of the Union Bay Improvement District trustee board. The board functions as the local government for Union Bay, with a focus on water service.

As of January 11th, 2019, the public meetings of Union Bay’s government have been closed to the public. The reason for the decision was said to be heckling at board meetings.

Trustee Susanna Kaljur, who often opposed the rest of the trustee board, was suspended a few days later.

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The latest board meeting was scheduled to be held at the Union Bay community hall on Thursday evening, and it was later moved without notice to Courtenay. According to Haraldson, who spoke with the newsroom on Friday, it was held at a “secure location”.

He stated that the board suspected there may have been problems, had the meeting been held as scheduled in Union Bay.

“Hopefully, this won’t be happening again, and again these meetings are closed to the public,” said Haraldson.

“The only public meeting is going to be the AGM (annual general meeting) in April, and that is one that everyone will attend, and people will be able to speak, and all the rest. That is going to happen for sure.”

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Haraldson stated that a video recording of the Courtenay meeting will be going up on the Union Bay website within “the next couple of days”, and indicated the meeting’s agenda would also be released at the same time.

He added that Union Bay’s upcoming trustee election would be moved to take place a week before the AGM, with the new trustees to be introduced at that gathering.

As for whether or not the rest of the board’s public meetings (which are barred to the public) will be held in Union Bay, Haraldson indicated that would be the case.

He figured people needed time to “calm down”, and stated he wasn’t comfortable with the move in the first place. However, he maintained it was “done for a reason”.

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Asked what would happen if people didn’t “calm down”, he did not have an exact answer.

“I’m hoping that there is no violence in the workplace, and harassment, and cyber bullying calms down, to where people become civilised, and to go to a meeting, without having to have this thing occur,” said Haraldson.

He still maintains the AGM will be open to all, and said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“During the AGM, people will be able to speak,” said Haraldson.

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“Entering the AGM, there will be a sergeant at arms present. If there are any problems, whatsoever, those individuals will be removed. Otherwise, an AGM is a public meeting, and that is open to the public.”

Haraldson also believes he has the support of Union Bay landowners.

“Many people tell me that,” he said.

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