Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

As a recent post to the Tideline suggests, “there seems to be an undercurrent of spite, allegation, sabotage and just plain nastiness” following the recent election. A very small group of Regional Director Noba Anderson’s opponents do not appear to have accepted the results. On  Jan. 7, 2019, the Campbell River Mirror published a story stating that fourteen Cortes Island residents filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia defaming Noba Anderson, with the intention of removing her from office.

The Allegations

The petitioners claim that “Anderson took money from her constituents for personal gain and a number of those same constituents received gifts and grants in return.”

Eight Cortes Island organizations were accused of bribing Anderson and receiving kickbacks.

The alleged bribes were supposedly made through a GoFundMe Campaign set up after Bernie Anderson’s cabin burned down. His daughter Noba supposedly gave many of the participants kickbacks through the Strathcona Regional District’s Grant in Aid Program.

Photo credit: Bernie Anderson – courtesy his GoFundMe page

Problems With The Petition

“Please note that the applications for a 2018 grant-in-aid closed in February, before the GoFundMe campaign was posted in March.  This means to expect a kick back would require us to be psychic.”

If it is necessary to explore further, note that:

  1. It is normal for Cortes Islanders to hold fund raisers after disasters like the one that befell Noba’s father.
  2. Once you discount the donations from members of the Anderson family, the GoFundMe campaign for Bernie raised $1,800 from twenty-three Cortes residents. These donations were of amounts ranging from $20 to $100.
  3. While some of the 12 people people making these alleged bribes have some authority within their organizations, others are simply members. (In the podcast you will hear the story of an employee who the petitioners erroneously label a director).
  4. There is no evidence that any of the 12 people whose donations are being labelled “bribes” did anything other than contributions to a fire relief fund. (Listen to the three case studies in the podcast.)
  5. Similarly, there is no evidence that any of the organizations being defamed took a kick-back.
  6. The alleged kick-backs were supposedly made through the Strathcona Regional District’s grant in aid program. Two of the eight organizations being defamed were not in the program at that time (i.e. – no kickback). The remaining six organizations have been in the program for years and applied for their 2018 grant anywhere from days to a month before the GoFundMe campaign was launched.
  7. This petition is not the only recent irregularity traced back to a small group of people attacking Noba Anderson. However it is the only case where the identities of the accusers is known. (Listen to the podcast for more).

Our Electoral Process Being Denied

“This is about our electoral process being denied. I don’t care who won the last election. We had a legal vote and now its being challenged for all kinds of reasons that I do not think bear any truth …” – Rick Bockner.

A Violation Of Who Cortes Thinks It Is

“The attack on Noba is a real violation of who Cortes thinks it is. There is a mean spiritless to it. The particular opportunity that was seized for this attack: the case of her demented father who she is trying to care for at home, burning his own cabin down. He is lucky that he didn’t die. Her neighbours did exactly what Cortes neighbours always do when someone has a family disaster, without even thinking reflexively. He neighbour and good friend starts a GoFundMe to help them cope with this emergency.” – De Clarke.

Photo Credit: 2018 Strathcona Regional District board meeting: left to right – Noba Anderson, Charlie Cornfield, Gerald Whalley & Ron Kerr.

Our Donation Was To Bernie

“Barry and I know Bernie. He is a wonderful fellow. We’ve been friends for years. Our [$50] donation was not to Noba, it was to Bernie. Bernie is now at a point in his life where he needs support and who would be the best person to support him, his daughter Noba. It was a very small amount of money, but it was something that would help a little bit.  If enough people help it meant that Bernie would have a place to live and he wouldn’t have to go into a long term care facility, which we all pay for through our tax dollars, but it is not a nice way to spend your final years.” – Amanda Glickman.

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I have been the President of Cortes Radio since June 2017 and one of the station’s story producers since the summer of 2014. I interviewed both candidates, George Sirk and Noba Anderson, during the recent election.