Mystery fines against Muni are 'nonsense claim'
By Chris Woodall
A public notice buried in the classified ads section of a Whistler newspaper claims fines of $700,000 and $100,000 against the municipality and former Whistler councillors.
The claims, however, are being dismissed as "nonsense" by town administrator Jim Godfrey.
The notice appeared twice at the back of the classified section of the Whistler Question as a "Legal Notice" and then as a "Public Notice."
A person named Kenneth Robert McMordie is described in the notice as a "secured party" in what seems to be a successful legal fight against the municipality and each of the mayor and councillors of the previous council: mayor Ted Nebbeling, councillors Thelma Johnstone, David Kirk, Max Kirkpatrick, Bill Murray and Hugh O'Reilly — described as "co-debtors."
"In the matter of pollution of the environment in violation of the 'polluter must pay' principle, … Commercial Liens were perfected in favor of the Secured Party against the debtor municipality for $700,000 and personally against each co-debter for $100,000," the notice says.
But saying it doesn't make it so.
The issue has been reviewed by the municipality's legal eagles, Godfrey says. "They determined it has no legal status."
The pollution referred to has to do with allegations that Whistler's sewage treatment plant was not up to snuff. But that, too, is off the mark, says Godfrey.
"The municipality has gone to great expense to keep the plant within government permit levels. We are in compliance."
But who is this McMordie fellow?
The municipality would like to know. He is not listed in the Whistler, Pemberton or Squamish phone directories.
The best that the municipality has been able to discover is that McMordie can be reached by mail in care of a general delivery address in New Westminster.
"We're having a hard time tracking him down," Godfrey says.
The unhappy part of all this is that if McMordie feels strongly enough to take the municipality to court, it could cost Whistler taxpayers about $10,000 just to have the resort's lawyers show up long enough to see the judge throw the nuisance suit out of court.