Mayor Stewy Wants to Sue Me

Tue, 26 Feb 2008


Stew Young is open for business.

Highlights from the front page of today’s Times Colonist, the daily fish wrap in Victoria, BC.

Langford plans to sue highway protesters

Group should be on the hook for estimated $100,000 in policing costs, says mayor

Langford plans to sue a group of protesters to recover the costs of their interference in construction of the new Trans-Canada Highway interchange near Spencer Road, Mayor Stew Young says.

“It’s trying to get money out of people who can’t rub two nickels together, but we have to go after some of them,” Young said Monday.

Langford is still negotiating with the province over who will bear the cost of a massive RCMP operation about two weeks ago in which an estimated 50 to 60 officers surrounded, and then cleared away, a tree-sit protest in the woods between Leigh Road and the highway in order to make way for the interchange.

That operation alone – in which three protesters were charged – could cost the municipality more than $100,000, Young said

“You may not be criminal, but if you put masks on and you block our surveyors and impede us … then we can sue you for our costs. They may not be criminally charged by the RCMP, but we’re going to now go after damages,” Young said.

“That’s hilarious,” protest organizer Zoe Blunt said yesterday when told of Langford’s plans.

“I don’t know what they’re going to recover from people that they haven’t already taken away – their backpacks, their shoes, their coats, their IDs, their wallets. I think he’s beating his chest and he’s trying to intimidate people.”

Blunt said that unlike Young’s “billionaire friends” her only asset is “a five-year-old computer.” She welcomed meeting Langford’s lawyers in court.

“We would like to see all the evidence of all the money that was spent and all the plans that were made and everything that had to do with the transfer of land; and all of their own assets and all of their interests they have in Bear Mountain and other resorts and other land and properties. We would like to get that all on the table,” she said.

Read the whole article here.

For my press release, keep reading.

Throwing Good Money After Bad
Why Mayor Stewart Young wants to sue penniless protestors for the cost of that huge police raid he ordered.

Two weeks after he called in a massive military-style strike against a handful of sleeping campers at the Bear Mountain Tree Sit, Langford Mayor Stewart Young has got the bill, and it’s a doozy. According to today’s Victoria Times Colonist, Young says that the final tally is still being worked out, but Langford’s share of the operation could be over $100,000. The rest of the cost goes to provincial taxpayers.

Young apparently signed a blank cheque on the taxpayer’s account when he called in a small army of police to the site of the controversial Bear Mountain Interchange on February 13. Over fifty RCMP officers, many with assault rifles pointed at protestors, stormed the camp in the pre-dawn hours and evicted five people. Two were charged with mischief. Two others were charged later for stopping construction equipment.

Now Young is threatening to sue those involved with the protest for the cost of the raid. Not only that, he is threatening to sue me in particular — and I haven’t committed any “crime.” I was not arrested, charged, detained, or even questioned about any alleged illegal activity. But I am guilty of disagreeing with Mayor Young’s sickening development ambitions, so he’s threatening to SLAPP me with a strategic lawsuit against public participation.

Young’s police raid racked up well over $100,000 in bills to taxpayers this month. A lawsuit could cost twice that, and it is not likely to be successful. Such a lawsuit by a municipality is almost unprecedented.

Add those taxpayer costs to the $25 million that Langford council is attempting to borrow on behalf of the Bear Mountain developers, and here’s the bottom line: Stewart Young is reckless and irresponsible with other people’s money. His hugely expensive police attack was far out of proportion to any possible threat the campers posed, and now he thinks he can get the money back by suing people who have no assets. In my opinion, Young is unfit to run a lemonade stand, let alone hold public office.

On the morning of the police raid on the tree sit camp, RCMP officers were brought in from as far away as Surrey and Nanaimo for the overkill operation, which left two Langford neighbourhoods behind police lines for three days. Dozens of residents were detained by police every time they entered or left their street. One officer who would not give his name told a protestor there were 300 police involved in the raid and the three days of RCMP roadblocks on both sides of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Young’s police adventure and his legal threats violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is still the law of the land — even in Langford.

——————————

Bonus: best comments from GNN.

What a jackass…

Keep up the fight Zoe!

Memnoch07 @ 02/26/08 04:39:53

Today’s best comment on the Times Colonist story.

So let me see, the mayor of Langford hires 60 cops and swat teams with mobile command centers and enough ammo to start the 3rd world war to arrest 3 guys sitting in a tree. Hmmmm. And now he doesn’t want to pay for it. Frankly he should have to pay for it out of his own pocket. What a freaking idiot. Where on earth do they find these people?

ZoeBlunt @ 02/26/08 18:17:25

Great comment, that.

tango @ 02/26/08 18:28:30

Awesome…

misanthropic @ 02/26/08 19:34:15

He looks not at all sleazy.

Science @ 02/26/08 19:35:10

Brilliant. 5 I say 5.

mercenary @ 02/26/08 20:59:00

IMPEACH STEW YOUNG
Do what you have to with no attachment to the results
Mother Nature gets last bat
jackson browne

Some of them were angry at the way the earth was abused

By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power

And they struggled to protect her from them only to be confused

By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour

blessings zoe

lung

mtnlungta @ 02/26/08 21:41:28

Good luck, Zoe. Keep us updated.

5

Truthcansuk @ 02/26/08 21:47:20

Awesome! Keep fighting Zoe u rock!

TheRedPill @ 02/27/08 00:46:55

So to “recover” money protesters “cost” them in policing, they are going to spend man-hours and money to sue them even though it is openly acknowledged they don’t have money to pay should they lose the lawsuit? That is brilliant. Good job mayor.

How about instead of trying to “recover” money that you shouldn’t have wasted fucking with protesters (since it was you that decided to spend it) to begin with, you don’t spend even more money suing them when it’s going to end up costing more than would be “recovered” should the suit be successful? Or do you have an obsession with spending money going after people for protesting? That’s not being petty at all.
(you = the city jackoffs)

“I lost $20 today”
“You need to hire a private investigator @ $100 an hour to find it.”
“Good idea, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Jackasses.

EGisJUICE @ 02/27/08 03:21:05

Don’t talk sense EG… if you can send a message to those no good beatniks it’s worth it no matter the cost. Will make them think again next time someone wants to rape and destroy the environment! All Hail the Dollar!

Not_Uberche @ 02/27/08 04:21:36

awesome

Livingston @ 02/27/08 10:44:24

he’ll just have to get his money the old fashioned way…

have a bake sale…

variable @ 02/27/08 11:12:15

Have I mentioned lately that you’re my idol? Also, Mayor Stew… does he happen to have a brother Bruce? The resemblance is uncanny (physical and political).

gaanjah_mama @ 02/27/08 11:49:19

I was reading a bit more about Stewie in “Focus” on my way to work this morning.

Basically this guy has offered unrestricted access for developers to destroy a pristine Douglas-fir forest (I happen to work with Doug-fir ecosystems) to put up an obscene amount of condos and turn what was once a thriving ecosystem into a fucking golf course and vineyards. In the process he’s using tax-payer money to finance this clusterfuck, which by all accounts is completely unrealistic, as is his “my-way-or-I’ll call-a-small-army-to-get-you” style of community relations.

This is seriously the scuzziest person I’ve read about in a long time, and as others have said, Zoe and the other tree-sitters are personal heroes of mine for standing up to this wanker.

tango @ 02/27/08 12:07:12

This guy sounds like a total douche.

He seems like he ought to be working on his trans-am and listening to Winger rather than running anything.

Maybe I have a false impression about BC in general, but how did such an environmental nightmare and business-whore get elected out there?

Keep up the good fight Zoe.

deadduck @ 02/27/08 17:13:34

People like Zoe are the reason I check in on this site, and sadly, the majority of them have fled…

misanthropic @ 02/27/08 18:31:34

Maybe I have a false impression about BC in general, but how did such an environmental nightmare and business-whore get elected out there?

how have they been pillaging until now, anywhere? you think just because youre canadien, you have a clear ability to immunize your socialistic ass to our US capitalism, eh?

wtf dreamworld do you live in?

stick to the undead

(especially on the island)

on edit, this particular post is in response to dead ducks

remarcus @ 02/27/08 21:05:51

The title reminds me of Supertroopers.

“She can sue me.”

misanthropic @ 02/27/08 21:11:55

“‘That’s hilarious,’ protest organizer Zoe Blunt said yesterday when told of Langford’s plans.”

I wholeheartedly agree with you 🙂

I am also concerned that this could set precedents for how to deal with protestors who might not be doing anything illegal, but are seen in that light given that they continually end up in court.

As an advocate for tenant rights, I have ended up in eviction court many times. So many, in fact, that I am now seen as a troublemaker, even though I have actually won many of my cases. Property owners and realty companies see me as an evil evil man.

sounds like its gonna be fun though 🙂 good luck to you and your crew!

tyrecian @ 02/27/08 22:20:43

We would like to see all the evidence of all the money that was spent and all the plans that were made and everything that had to do with the transfer of land; and all of their own assets and all of their interests they have in Bear Mountain and other resorts and other land and properties. We would like to get that all on the table

i…i love you Zoe

Number5Toad @ 02/28/08 01:09:01

I’m not a “protest organizer,” Bill – I’m a media contact. I send out the press releases and talk nicely to you when you phone. Please make a note of it.

Beautiful.

eepicheep @ 02/28/08 01:30:22

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