Central Okanagan regional director censured by colleagues

Central Okanagan East director Patty Hanson censured and thrown off committees for divulging confidential information.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Patty Hanson as “Fraser”  in a reference to Hanson’s belief that not all CORD board members realize how valuable film commissioner Jon Summerland is to the valley’s film industry.

 

Original story (corrected):

It wasn’t a court of law but Central Okanagan East regional director Patty Hanson was censured Tuesday by a majority of her 11 political peers on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan board.

Her crime: Divulging confidential—albeit incorrect—information about the Okanagan Film Commission to its commissioner Jon Summerland earlier this year.

Only Hanson and two other board members—Central Okanagan West regional director Wayne Carson and Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin—voted against the censure motion and another motion ordering her to write an apology to Summerland.

Hanson was also removed for a year from the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission board, as an alternate from the film commission and from the SIBAC board.

Hanson did not make herself available to the media following the decision by the board and her lawyer, Matthew Blow, said she had no comment.

Blow added, however, his client did have “significant” concerns about procedural fairness associated with the special board meeting reconvened Tuesday to consider the censure motion.

As for what Hanson plans to do in light of the board’s decision, Blow did not know, saying that would be up to his client.

For her part, RDCO board chair Gail Given said she hoped the board will now move on from the Hanson issue and get back to the business of running the regional district.

Hanson was accused of divulging information discussed at a closed-door strategic planning session the RDCO board held last May in West Kelowna.

At that meeting, the board members, including Hanson, agreed to keep the discussions confidential.

Following the meeting, Hanson—a former film commission board member who is now an alternate—met with Summerland who later said she told him she was the only regional director who saw the value of the film commission.

And, he said, she indicated the commission’s funding could be in jeopardy.

“I was freaked out,” Summerland told the board on Tuesday.

Given and several other directors said what Summerland was told by Hanson did not accurately represent their respective views of the film commission.

Hanson, while admitting to meeting with Summerland, said she was just trying to catch up on how the commission was doing and was trying to “coach” Summerland in explaining better to the board what he does.

Hanson said she believes not all board members realize how valuable Summerland is to the valley’s film industry.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Hanson also admitted having concerns that some municipalities are not paying what she considers their fair share of funding for the film commission, saying that’s what she was referring to when she talked with Summerland about future funding.

The meeting with Hanson left Summerland shaken and “fearing for his livelihood.”

He immediately took his concerns to Economic Development Commission executive director Corrie Griffiths, who he was told was at the strategic planning workshop and had also questioned the value of the film commission.

But Given said Griffiths was not at the strategic plaining workshop and has also denied questioning the value of the film commission.

At Tuesday’s censure meeting, some directors voiced their concern about Hanson’s behaviour.

“I’m don’t think she gets it,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran in arguing that censure and an apology to Summerland were enough of a punishment.

He, along with all five Kelowna representatives on the board, as well West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater and West Kelowna Coun. Duane Ophus, voted to include pulling Hanson off the RDCO committees for a year.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker, who voted for the censure and the apology, said he felt that was enough punishment.

This is the second time Hanson will have to publicly apologize for her behaviour as an RDCO board member.

In 2012, she made accusations against then-board chairman Robert Hobson over the issue of the Kelowna Mountain Development that had Hobson suggesting he may take legal action. As a result Hanson issued an apology.

But not all the board members were in favour of censuring and punishing Hanson.

Central Okanagan West director Wayne Carson said while the meeting with Summerland was likely ill-founded, the issue of what she said to him should have been dealt with by the regional district CEO “in-house.”

 

Just Posted

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

2019’s “status quo” budget accepted cautiously by Kelowna Chamber

“(This budget) is to appeal to an NDP base.”

Teresa May talent agency opens in Kelowna

The agency will be holding an all ages open casting event Feb. 24

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read