With the surprise resignation of Craig Searle, the president of the RPCRA, the Riverside Park Community and Recreation Centre has lost a fabulous leader, an amazing man and incredible volunteer. Searle told the association recently he was stepping down because of what he sees as a lack of leadership from River Coun. Riley Brockington on a community-changing development project.
“I am very disappointed in Councillor Brockington lack of support & performance on Canoe Bay & his inability to get colleagues support. (The) community lost everything,” Searle tweeted out after he made the announcement.
This is such a shame. Both Searle and his wife Carolyn have been tireless boosters of their community. Impossible to quantify the hours Searle has spent on his community’s behalf, at public meetings, tiresome city committees and council. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Canoe Bay development on Riverside Drive across from Mooney’s Bay is on a 10-acre property. It will have mixed residential geared toward older adults and retail.
So what did the infamous Brockington do that would prompt the likeable, hard-working Searle to resign?
Well, according to Searle not only didn’t Brockington support the community, but he has waffled on a commitment to pull staff’s delegated authority on the final site plan approval which would have allowed for public debate at a city committee.
In fact, after making a public commitment to pull delegated authority, Brockington responded to an email from Searle asking when that would be done – said he was first going to seek legal advice. He never explained what he needed advice about.
What does Brockington have to say about all of this?
He did initially return a call to On the City, From the Burbs and left a message saying he would call back in an hour.
He didn’t. Can only presume he was scared off by his own behaviour. Another attempt to reach him wasn’t responded to. He should know, he can run, but he can’t hide.
This of course isn’t the first time Brockington failed to consider his residents’ interests. Hard to forget Brockington signed a non-disclosure agreement agreeing to keep quiet about adding a huge play structure to Mooney’s Bay without telling his residents anything about it until it was a done deal.
Shameful, but true.
To make the Canoe Bay story even stranger, Searle was contacted by developer /owner of Canoe Bay Gary Harper.
“That’s unprecedented in itself and (he) appealed to me to take the pressure off of Riley to lift delegated authority in exchange for things in the community like more window washing during construction! Wow. Riley told me he asked Canoe Bay to call me,” Searle said, adding he’s never heard of this ever happening. “This whole thing is a mess. I can’t believe a developer contacted me.”
With Harper on holidays, Canoe Bay’s Justin Chubaty returned the call. Chubaty disputed the suggestion that Harper phoned Searle to defend Brockington. That being said, Chubaty acknowledged Canoe Bay does not want Brockington to waive delegated authority because it would cause serious delays to the project.
So there you have it.
With Brockington at the helm, residents lose yet again.
And they no longer have Searle to fight for them.