Letter to the Editor – Helen Grond

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Re: Letter from Alex Allen, regarding Riley Donovan’s response to Helen Grond’s article: When your government goes off the rails, what can you do, (TIG, Nov. 23)

Not to quibble with Alex’s quibble but the proposed cell Tower is for a 206 foot high structure, on the face of it.  The fine print states that Rogers can at any time after approval, increase the height by 25% without further notification or consultation.  Approving a 206 foot tower is the equivalent of approving a 258 foot tower.  Transparency seems best and I typically describe the height as “up to 258 feet“.  

Concerned residents of Hornby Island, who are doing everything in their power to hold the Trust accountable for their blatant mishandling of the whole tower affair, have every reason to mistrust Brian Gregg – Roger’s agent.  He also happened to be the agent for the Telus 2017 failed tower bid on Hornby.  Mr. Gregg initially informed the Island in 2016 of plans to install a cell tower near the Co-op corner on Hornby Island.  Upon realizing that Hornby wasn’t overly enthusiastic about cell towers, he changed the story and announced that the proposed tower was no longer going to be a cell tower but instead, a backup repeater tower in case the landlines went down.  Do landlines go down?

Since taking on the Rogers’ application, Mr. Gregg has steadfastly refused to meet for an in-person, on-island meeting – a legal requirement.  Zoom meetings do not qualify.  The Trust had been unwilling to hold Mr. Gregg to his legal obligations.  They have since softened their stance as they were caught red-handed colluding against the community in favour of Rogers.  I have previously detailed the malfeasance demonstrated by the Trust, including interference in our local Trustee elections, clear evidence that staff planners coached and guided Mr. Gregg to avoid meeting obligatory consultation requirements and of course the inevitable coverup which included a beet-faced wall of silence and a flurry of staff changes!   

I’d like to expand on Alex’s mention of Mr. Greggs’ alleged exposure to disorderly conduct by locals at the 2017 public meeting and his subsequent fear for his safety in future meetings.  Concerned residents first heard about those claims in an email sent by Mr. Gregg to a local resident as his reason for refusing to meet Islanders in person, a year ago.  The initial reaction of attendees to that 2017 meeting on Hornby, was incredulity.  This was rapidly followed by a chorus of guffaws.  The profile of a typical concerned resident is that of a peace loving gardener in their 70’s.  There were no public threats of any kind made in the 2017 meeting and poor Mr. Gregg was likely rattled by having to face penetrating questions from well informed grannies.  I don’t think Mr. Gregg likes penetrating questions – especially in person.   

Included in Mr. Greggs’ email was mention of an unnamed person of authority on Hornby, who had advised him that it was unsafe for him to attend a public meeting here.  I’m trying not to giggle at how preposterous that claim is.  I wonder which local person of authority would be willing to slander their own aging gardeners?  I say we all deserve to see the evidence!  What prompted the mystery person to warn Mr. Gregg that it was unsafe for him to come to Hornby?  Or possibly, did Mr. Gregg make everything up?  My dear Watson, we have a dilemma.  Has our community been infiltrated by corporate apologists or are we being had by a sly Mr. Gregg and his close and cozy friends – the Islands Trust Corporation, or all of the above?

What the Trust and our own Trustees, fail to understand, is that due process for this application has been broken to bits.   The Hornby population has been deceived, acted against in multiple illegal ways, been unfairly slandered and had a full year of precious gardening time wasted on this bureaucratic boondoggle.  Democracy is growing paper thin out there and our community mustn’t be forced to accept a disingenuous, half-hearted attempt to patch together a process that lies in a pile of odorous ruins – long overdue for a decent burial and at high risk of leaving a permanent stench.