Conflict of interest prevents Port council from acting

  • Jan. 18, 2006 4:00 p.m.

Port Clements council received an appeal Monday (Jan. 16) from the United Steelworkers of America for support for its members on the islands, but was unable to respond after every council member present said they had a conflict of interest.
The letter, addressed to the mayor and council, was from local 1-2171 president Darrel Wong. He wrote that union members on the Charlottes are concerned about the future of their jobs, specifically about contracting out by Cascadia Forest Products Ltd and Edwards and Associates Logging Ltd.
They are also concerned about “the potential impact on their employment with respect to the negotiations between the government and the Council of the Haida Nation,” Mr. Wong wrote.
“The committee and the local union support the creation of new local employment opportunities but not at the LOSS of the existing workers’ jobs,” the letter continued.
Mr. Wong closed by asking for a letter of support for the union members and their future employment.
However, council was unable to even discuss the issue after every member declared a conflict of interest. Mayor Cory Delves said he was in conflict because he is on the management team at Cascadia. The three council members present – Wally Cheer, Derek Hoenen and Brock Storry – said they were also in conflict because they are employees of Edwards and Associates. Both companies are named in the letter.