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Home Canadian Press B.C. justice minister won't help Saanich police board over mayor dispute

B.C. justice minister won’t help Saanich police board over mayor dispute

SAANICH, Canada — British Columbia’s justice minister is refusing to investigate the behaviour of a Vancouver Island mayor despite a plea from the district’s police board for her help.

Suzanne Anton says she is keeping an eye on the situation unfolding in Saanich, B.C., where Mayor Richard Atwell has accused the police of harassment and district staff of spying.

But Anton says the board is at arm’s length from the government and it is not her job to investigate the mayor, who is the board’s chair.

Board member Lori Staples says members would not have contacted the attorney general if they thought they could deal with the issue on their own.

Staples says the board does not appear to have the power to kick out a sitting chair, only to elect a new chair if the current one is unable to perform duties.

The board issued a statement Thursday that said Atwell’s conduct put members in an “untenable position,” and that it had asked him to step down until it received advice from the minister.

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