Colwood council. (Gazette file photo)

Councillor arrested in ongoing dispute with B.C. city

Cynthia Day arrested Wednesday protesting rock wall removal

A B.C. city councillor was arrested Wednesday due to an ongoing dispute with the City of Colwood over the boulevard in front of her house on Vancouver Island.

City crews showed up to the councillor’s home on Charnley Place Wednesday morning to remove rock walls built by Day’s husband Tim on the boulevard more than 20 years ago. The City claims, after conducting an engineer’s report, that the walls are a safety and liability issue, however, the homeowners dispute that claim after filing a FOI request and receiving the report.

The issue has been an ongoing disagreement between the City and the couple, culminating Wednesday in the arrest of Day after she refused to move from the rock walls when the City came to take them down.

“I told them I wasn’t going to go willingly. I had a right to protest,” Day explained. “They proceeded to arrest me, putting me in a cruiser and when I got to the police station they explained that they were simply maintaining the peace and not taking sides.”

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Day was arrested for mischief but released without charges, based on her giving her word that she wouldn’t obstruct work by the City any further.

The cost for the work being done by the City will be added to the Day’s tax bill, something they say is unfair when they are not given information about what work will be done.

“The City has given us no opportunity to know what the plan is here and there has been no opportunity for us to present to council our side of the story,” Day said.

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“The homeowner built a rock wall and did some planting in the city right of way in the boulevard between the property and the road,” said Sandra Russell, Colwood’s communication manager.

According to Russell, that work was done a number of years ago but came to the City’s attention in 2017 when a tree fell onto a neighbour’s home. “It became a safety and liability issue. It was incumbent on the City to address the issue,” Russell explained.

“She’s still a respected member of council and this is a separate issue from the City’s viewpoint with a homeowner and the city,” Russell said.

“I don’t want what has happened to us to happen to anyone else. There should be open and transparent government,” said Day. “I still have to do my job of advocating for the citizens of Colwood.”

-With files from Shalu Mehta


 

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