Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said he's getting out front of a conflict of interest allegation by going public after a resident complained the Royal Canadian Legion is receiving tax exemptions and a grant-in-aid because Cobb is a legion director.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said he's getting out front of a conflict of interest allegation by going public after a resident complained the Royal Canadian Legion is receiving tax exemptions and a grant-in-aid because Cobb is a legion director.

Mayor clears the air on conflict allegations

Williams Lake Mayor clears the air on conflict allegation regarding his role as a Royal Canadian Legion director.

Mayor Walt Cobb said he’s getting out in front of a conflict of interest accusation by going public after a resident alleged the Royal Canadian Legion received financial aid from the city because the mayor is a board director.

“It is ridiculous in a community of this size to suspect that anybody on council is not involved with non-profit societies,” Cobb said after contacting the Tribune Monday to clear the air.

Cobb said in February the city received a letter from a resident complaining he had a conflict of interest because he serves as a director on the Royal Canadian Legion board and the legion received a tax exemption and a $7,500 grant-in-aid from the city.

Staff sought legal advice and was told because Cobb didn’t benefit in anyway financially because of the tax exemption or grant in aid, it wasn’t a conflict.

“Even if there was a direct financial interest, which is unsubstantial, the city believes that a section of the community charter would apply — that the pecuniary interest is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member in relation to the matter,” Cobb said, reading from the community charter.

Council met and decided because of the legal advice they would not to take any action on the complaint and responded to the complainant.

“He has now decided the answer was not good enough and has responded again by saying the response was obviously prepared by the city’s legal representative for my signature,” Cobb said, noting the complainant went on to say the city’s response was unsatisfactory and could best be described as “smoke and mirrors.”

The complainant also said he will pursue his belief further.

“Obviously this guy feels he is a watchdog of the city, I don’t know him personally and don’t think I have ever met him,” Cobb said.

Cobb has been on the legion board for five years. He also sits on the Glen Arbor board, Barkerville Heritage Trust, Rotary and is a past president of the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile RCMP investigate theft at airport hangar, 88 other incidents

Incident is one of 89 calls attended by police from Feb. 17 to 23.

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read