Mayor Robertson and Councillor Meggs sued over a conflict of interest

A B.C. Supreme Court hearing to have Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Coun. Geoff Meggs removed from office over campaign donations began on shaky ground Tuesday morning, with a lack of evidence possibly endangering the case’ viability.

The complaint, filed in December 2014 by David Wotherspoon on behalf of five petitioners, stated a secret tape recording of a CUPE 1004 meeting in October contains evidence of conflict of interest.

Not much to go on

Before discussions regarding the tape were heard, Justice Elliott Myers struck out much of the evidence in the petitioners’ affidavits, citing them as “hearsay.”

One of the affidavits that received a hit was former mayoral candidate and the man behind the petition, Randy Helten’s. Myers told Wotherspoon that most of the evidence contained in all five affidavits was merely opinion and that the statements “don’t really add anything to your case. What they feel or not doesn’t matter.”

More substantial evidence will help

Myers’ statements reflected counsel for Robertson and Meggs, Bryan Baynham’s opening statement in which he said that almost everything in the affidavits filed on behalf of the petitioners is “inadmissible” and “quadruple hearsay.”

“My clients shouldn’t be faced with this allegation,” Baynham said, adding many of the allegations contained in the affidavits were slanderous and damaging to his clients.

Baynham advised the court the recording is “incomplete or edited or both,” and the partial recording was then given to a reporter who wrote an article about it. The recording was then put up for download on a website.

“They think that they can go to a website, download [the recording], put it in an affidavit and use it as evidence,” Baynham said. “Their only evidence is that it’s incomplete.”

Baynham said Meggs’ evidence is that he was only at part of the meeting and didn’t know what happened before or after.

Secret source the catalyst

Wotherspoon argued, “Without this secret tape, we would likely not have known what transpired at the meeting.”

“This is an example of how it happens [with a recording],” Helten said “It would be refreshing to see someone get caught.”

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