‘I’m More Patient Now’: Coun. Ted Prior

priormain

Coun. Ted Prior ran in 2009 on the promise of a renewed waterfront, diking, economic development, and better governance. He speaks about his first stint as a councillor and shares his views on SODC, LNG, and other issues.

You have spoken about reservations with SODC?

The SODC has been in works for a long time, and I was never in support of past board of director for the bidding process. There are clauses here that last for 20 years, the DCC, and the CCC, and it will be interesting to see how that pans out.  

Has the deal been transparent?

I don’t think SODC has been very transparent, as you know I was taken out of the room and threatened legal action by Coun. Doug Race. I got my opinion that I could have stayed in the room, but to pursue that would have been very costly. When we have all the mayor and councillors putting themselves on the board, it looked to me like they were setting up for something. So, I was opposed to that. When you have a past director vying for it, it seems to me there is a conflict here.

I asked to see the minutes of the meeting for SODC and I was told I will have to go through a FOI. I wish I got to know more, but I didn’t, I got ran out of the room. Considering I was five years on the board, I got good knowledge of the site. It was a loss to the community not being able to take part in it. It was a unanimous thinking I was in conflict, and I came in with the legal opinion saying I wasn’t. My lawyer said I could pursue it, but would cost me 40 thousand.

What are your views on LNG?

I am not there yet if I support it or not. We have a committee doing that, but the fracking makes me really nervous. The issues about the air quality and the water quality and you hear about the warmed up water that will be chlorinated and put into the sound…that makes me nervous. I am waiting for the committee and come back and they can ask questions and they have been funded. Also, there is the tourism and the economic impact analyses that are supposed to be done.

I know the majority of the kite boarders are scared, and we have whales and orcas coming back and I wouldn’t want to risk losing any of that. Yes we need more taxes and more jobs, but Squamish is taking off. We were on the cover of the rolling stone magazine and home sales are up, we have a thriving tech and film business.

You were concerned earlier that Mayor Rob Kirkham wasn’t sharing information? Is that still the case?

Yes, he doesn’t. We don’t get reports on any of the meetings that he attends. It made me unhappy because I feel like I could have had a lot more input into how the town was moving forward. It took two and half years to really understand city hall, the dynamic and the people. Anyone coming in new and think they can just walk in, no it takes a while.

Do you plan to run again?

I am considering it. It took two and half years to really understand city hall, the dynamic and the people. Anyone coming in new thinks they can just walk in, but it takes a while.

Does the present council work together well?

 

I actually think we have a pretty good council, we build on each other. We haven’t done much for economic development. The thrill for me is to realize how we help some of the businesses by taking it through economic development. I feel our economic development arm isn’t aggressive enough in my opinion, we answer a lot of phone calls, and we put a lot of time into expansion and retention, lots of interview, compiling stats, and I like the idea of having an aggressive economic development arm that looks for things and tries to pull them in. I think we are too bureaucratic. I think it would be good to take it from the bureaucracy and give it to a board and then they could may be direct it to be more aggressive. We have a lot of development comes in and leaves before it gets to the planning process.

What is the problem with bureaucracy?

When I see a problem, I would like to deal with it but then it has to go through a report, a study that goes through all that process, and staff having a meeting, they discuss it and they do a report and bring it back to council. It just takes a lot of time for the staff, I think it could be something that could be deal with more aggressively. This is where I talk about experience, now I can see where some of the problems are, it’s the inability for the bureaucracy to seize the moment. We have to talk to our consultants, there was the expansion and retention in our economic development strategy, but where are the measurable.

How has this one year been for you?

I didn’t know much, but now I am equal. I am more patient now. I can listen to someone’s problems, no problem. I mean we have people who complain about everything…we get blamed for not putting this information, and we post information all the time, we have huge discussions about topics and people will come and say, why don’t you do this and why don’t you do that. I helped getting council meetings archives that would be something I’d take partial credit for. We came up with a tax incentive for commercial and now we are doing pretty well. I like how we build on each other conversations, and we are mature as a council now compared to in the beginning.

Comments

  1. Douglas Day says:

    Ted Prior has good business sense and knows a lot about Real Estate.
    Councillor Race went to the Moon and back to ensure Councillor Prior was kept totally out of the information loop on SODC so Race could orchestrate the give away of these lands to his pal Michael Hutchinson.
    Race should be run out of town on a rail for this nonsense.
    DRD

  2. Jean says:

    Ironically, I am against LNG, but I am for domestic gas–but not at Mafia pricing, providing it for a 600m line, where Fortis wanted to charge me Can$ 84,000, but I could be interested if the install would be openly tendered and by the DOS demanding to be put in into any new subdivision.
    Where do you stand on this?

    A subdivision is going in with 23 lots to be sold to newcomers that would like to take advantage of the present low domestic gas price over the high-priced hydro, which we already pay for, what Campbell,s friends have been given– by way of the “Run of the River power plants” they put in, instead of Squamish Municipality having at least on one of them bought into– for the economic growth of Squamish’s economy and job creation at possible lowest cost of Hydro.

    I am told that the nondisclosure agreement by the liberal government as the Olympic “Trost Preis” by only charging 660 million for the highway construction, on a project estimated to be near a billion; of course the payback of a 25-year nondisclosure hydro paycheck would easily make up for the losses or break even.
    Without taxes payable at the time of breaking even, for some of these companies, that had an in with the Government, that would possibly negotiate, the same with LNG… do you think once W-LNG and FortisBC can sell our national resource at three times the present $4 per GJ asked for here, where the global price is expected to be $11 per GJ, that we are certainly going to be hit with a much bigger Gas bill in the future, possible a three-fold increase then what we are paying for domestic gas now,… a real scam and nobody calls the bluff.

    So it is understandable that Fortis is not interested to provide domestic gas in view of much bigger profits envisioned with LNG, over the wreckage and pollution created by fracking, but rather entrenched in whole selling our national resource. Rather we should advertise to come here and with it bringing in Jobs, not us eventually falling short of a precious resource or having even to clean up, once the big guys (especially foreign-owned) walk away and let us handle it.

    The fact that DOS is not vigorously enforcing, or promoting, or even subsidizing in any way by incentives or whatever, short of a bribe, to encourage owner/developers as well as Fortis to vigorously doing first what the people need and want at a reasonable and honest cost, rather than looking to make its shareholders richer at any cost.

    • Jon S. says:

      Jean? What is the point of your post? It makes No sense.

      While I disagree with you on pretty much everything, it’s still nice to at least be able to understand your message and communicate with you.

      • Ralph Fulber says:

        Jon, “What is the point of your post?” If that post makes no sense to you might look into some cognitive skills assessment. Jean articulated several very specific points in a clear and coherent manner. What a person doesn’t want to see they don’t, it is called cognitive dissonance. There are a lot of people desperately clinging to the remnants of a broken system for lack of imagining the alternatives. Here is a really simple one, geo-thermal. Just out, enough to supply BC electrical needs without Site C to subsidize the idiocy of the LNG export boondoggle.

  3. Ralph Fulber says:

    First line I focus on; “I am not there yet”!!!?? Don’t need to read any further. With all the hard work countering the propaganda and bullshit around this LNG (actually shale gas people) through presentations and data presented to be undecided on this issue at this point is in my humble opinion a chicken shit play both sides political strategy. You have to be out to lunch or purposefully looking the other way strategically not to have an opinion around this issue. The Woodfibre LNG proponent is a reprehensible opportunist with no empathy even for immediate family. The so called export liquification plant being built abroad and shipped in (no duty tariffs or other considerations to protect Canadian interests) is for all intent and purpose a refinery that will flare off (rapid oxidation??? that works???) heat the adjoining waters and suck subsidized hydro to the tune of $80 million a year. For whom??? Not knowing would make this candidate ineligible to me. Slow learner? Back of the line there is work to be done and serious people to do it. The old guard cannot be left to their folly any longer and all their accommodating side kicks need to be put to pasture with them. That’s my opiniion.

    • Jon S. says:

      Nothing will every please you people. This is why you will loose this fight. You people cannot even look past someone who is essentially on your side. It is reasonable to wait for the facts. Real facts. Not your pseudo-science newspaper articles that you slap around everywhere, but real, project specific facts.

      Shameful.

      • Ralph Fulber says:

        Let’s see those ‘facts’ Jon I am all eyes on this one looking for balance of what is such a one sided issue at this point.
        I can deliver all that has brought me to think this is a boondoggle do I need to send you the ‘science’?
        What facts are you waiting for???

        “You people”???

  4. Ron says:

    Jean,

    what is it with your ‘mafia pricing’ argument. really weird. seems you creating some narrative. no offense. lots of fear mongering on your end.

  5. Jean says:

    Ron and Jon,
    I feel it is my privileged without insulting you, to make it simple. Fortis wants to make more profit, regardless of damage and against all common sense and they want to export rather then build Canadian infra structure. If you would be technical or construction people you would understand, that a “ditch witch” and a few other technical available processes can put a 2 inch max plastic Gas line in the ground for 600 m at, shall we say 10,000 $ and if publicly tendered they would have me bid on it and install it with my neighbours in 2 days!!!Fortis is asking first time around $ 94,000 to put it in and “That is the fact” and I can prove it. So you see it is easier to get XXX Million $ for the “Fracked Methane gas” in one shipload … Not Natural Gas, rather then put Canadian infra structure in and have to send invoices and possible not getting payed etc.

    • Ron says:

      Dear Jean,

      Thank you for the comment. If you want to insult me, please go ahead it just shows that the narrative you promote is actually nothing more than fear mongering. Again, lots of “if” and weird assumptions. And whats with the us, technical people? Being a technical expert is it a bad thing? Lets focus on the argument you put forth. Somehow the rant you put up mixes up a few things.
      First, you talk about Fortis is asking for a bill? Second, you talk about exporting gas? I am not sure what one has to do with the other. IF, your gas bill increases you got options. So say no. And if you are anti-LNG than you wont get the gas not at all in the first place, which means that the costs will increase? Anyway, i am confused. I am sure you got the answers for it.

  6. Jean says:

    Thank you Ron,
    If you are so convinced that LNG is profitable for BC and safe and a good Venture for Squamish,s long term future, please put it in this blog, I am always willing to learn, but to date, I have not fond one item that is positive other then a few business people and possible union employees waiting to have a bit more take home pay for a short time, verse all of us paying for a longtime afterwards with lots of ill effects from this brain dead venture. We will see what the election will bring and I am definitely asking the first question from each candidate about, Yes or No for LNG and that alone will tel me about there state of mind and fitness to govern.
    PS. What about your thread……””” if you are anti-LNG than you wont get the gas not at all in the first place,””””…Are you maybe working for Fortis?