A report by a regional district director that accused the Island Corridor Foundation of becoming "a private fiefdom of insiders" has been met with the threat of legal action.
The non-profit ICF through Duncan lawyer Andrew LaCroix called upon Regional District of Nanaimo director Julian Fell to issue an apology this week for the July 24 report.
Fell's report was delivered to local governments and ICF stakeholders in August. In the memo he took the stance that the ICF "quietly" and without proper notification made sweeping changes to its procedural bylaws. The non-profit ICF has been engaged in a campaign to restore the former E&N Corridor on Vancouver Island since 2003.
Fell in the public memo accused the ICF of moving away from its original purpose, "hijacked" by ownership through "a seemingly secret scrapping of the original operations bylaw and the substitution of another.. ." "The ICF does not keep the members informed of what is going on and the procedures bylaw essentially imposes a cloak of secrecy over the operations," Fell wrote in the report.
The reaction from ICF this week was to cite what it called factual and legal errors in the memo, as well as to accuse Fell of defamation.
LaCroix called on Fell to issue a public apology and written retraction, to be delivered to the ICF and each recipient of the July 24 memo.
'If you do not comply with this demand, we will seek instructions to commence proceedings against you in the Supreme Court," LaCroix wrote in the letter to Fell.
The Coombs, Errington and Hilliers-area director said the report was only meant for regional district officials in the ICF. Copies of the memo can be obtained from agenda packages published by various local governments on Vancouver Island.
Fell described the response from ICF as an attempt at intimidation, but said he had not decided on what step he intends to take next.
"(ICF CEO Graham Bruce) has accused me of charging him with some sort of conspiracy," said Fell. "The point I was trying to make is there's a huge lot of unknowns. "I believe this threat to sue me. .. represents an attempt to silence me," he added. "I'm protecting the taxpayers, that's how I see it."
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