Now that Selina Robinson has officially been acclaimed as the NDP candidate for Coquitlam-Maillardville, and will obviously be devoting all of her energy toward the upcoming provincial election, she should show some integrity and respect for the people of this community and resign her council seat so that a municipal byelection can be called. Despite the huge expense involved for us taxpayers, which could range anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000 based on past byelections, it is the only honourable thing for her to do at this point. The people of this community deserve to have someone on council who is willing and able to give 100 per cent to the job, something Robinson swore an oath to do just one year ago.
It is important to note that during last November's municipal election, Robinson stated publicly that she would not do what she has now done; namely, leave council for a provincial or federal seat and cause a municipal byelection. Along with myself and all other council candidates, Robinson was asked this very specific, very direct byelection question at an all-candidates meeting sponsored by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.
All of the candidates, including Robinson, said no, they would not cause a byelection, and the related expense for taxpayers, during their term on council by seeking a provincial or federal seat. Clearly, Robinson is not a woman of her word on this point. And as with so many other NDP opportunists, such as Dawn Black and Fin Donnelly who jumped ship and caused costly byelections, Robinson has failed to put the people of this community first and stick to the job she was elected to do.
Sadly, the only lame defence she has managed to put forward for herself is that the opportunity to run for MLA only presented itself recently when MLA Diane Thorne announced her retirement. So what? She told the community she would serve her full term and not cause a byelection. She made a commitment. She stated publicly that she would not do what she has now done.
It is time for Robinson to do the right thing and resign from council. She needs to recognize that she cannot serve two masters. Yes, in resigning she will be placing a huge byelection cost on the backs of Coquitlam taxpayers, which she said she would not do. However, as the NDP opportunist she has now shown herself to be, the cost to Coquitlam taxpayers in the pursuit of her own interests does not seem to count for very much to Robinson.
Massimo Mandarino Coquitlam