Conspiracy theory

This post builds on the earlier “Musqueam sue city” post.

On the Garden City Lands issue, the pro-ALR-exclusion faction on Richmond city council has gone to such lengths for so long that pro-conservation people are sending me conspiracy theories about the Musqueam lawsuit. Supposedly the pro-exclusion council members and city staff in league with them are happy because the Musqueam are giving them what they want by forcing them to go along with dense development of the lands.

Anything’s possible. However, it seems to me that all the council members have generally* shown the utmost good faith to the Musqueam. Regardless of what one thought about some council members, one had to respect all of them for that. So what we have on council is a majority that tried very hard to make a fair offer and a minority who also looked out for the Musqueam. It’s hard to imagine the two factions not becoming unified in their disgust at the betrayal they surely must feel.

On the basis of long experience with the City of Richmond, the Musqueam would have reason to expect a dysfunctional council and a legal team below the level of their own. However, thanks to the Musqueam’s lawsuit ploy, council is likely to move into goal-oriented teamwork, which will in turn enable them to find suitable lawyers if they haven’t done so already. I’m as disgusted as the rest of you but also more optimistic than before the lawsuit.


*Note: Recently there were some missteps by a couple of councillors who implied the intention to get the lands out of the ALR (problematic for reasons discussed in an earlier post), but the Musqueam lawsuit happened before they could really get into the realm of bad faith.

April 16, 2010, update: The Richmond News has published a letter from me on this topic.


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