Mayor Stew Young does spin control
The past week has been rough for Langford mayor Stew Young. First he was roasted by the newspapers and TV stations. Then came his public spanking by the BC Civil Liberties Association, and finally the Municipal Finance Authority declined the terms of a loan for Stew’s pet highway project.
Despite the mounting pressure, the blustery mayor has not backed down from his threats to sue me for the cost of a massive police raid on a small protest camp near Victoria, BC last month. Nor is he reconsidering the destructive highway project that will demolish a First Nations cave, although the MFA’s rejection will force him to seek new financing.
Far from cooling down, Stew is on a rampage. The rumor mill says we can expect the lawsuit to be served early this week. Brace yourself for months of media entertainment and epic lulz as Stew tries to justify ordering a hundred heavily-armed police officers to arrest a handful of sleeping campers. I especially look forward to hearing him explain why I’m responsible for the $100,000 operation and how I’m the leader of the anarchists. (I was not at the camp, and I was not arrested, detained, or even questioned about any alleged illegal activity.)
In a surprise move, Young and his staff expanded the crackdown on free speech in Langford last week. This time, they targeted a young mother who put up letter-sized signs (and a small banner on her porch) that read Get the Facts: LangfordProtest.org. On Monday, a municipal enforcement officer arrived on Jennifer Andison’s doorstep with an order to cease and desist or face a $100 fine. Jen was astonished. Political speech is protected by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but not according to Langford’s restrictive sign bylaws. (You can imagine how many lawyers have called this week to ask who is representing Jen.)
Thanks to my press release, news outlets carried Jen’s story – and her signs – across the province. The BC Civil Liberties Association is on high alert, out of concern that Langford is escalating attempts to deprive people of their civil rights for political reasons. Stew faces more than just another public spanking this week — he may end up fighting for his political life.