Kingsbury hypocritical to slam ‘Big Labour’ after soliciting its endorsement, says union
BURNABY – Former Coquitlam mayor Jon Kingsbury is exposing himself to extreme ridicule by publicly criticizing organized labour’s influence on municipal politics after soliciting labour’s endorsement before last fall’s civic elections, says the B.C. division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Furthermore, says CUPE BC, the fledgling right-wing slate on which Kingsbury ran unsuccessfully for re-election owes it to the people of Coquitlam to provide full disclosure—rather than hiding behind the Local Government Act—on who contributed the more than $100,000 raised for its campaign.
Last week, Kingsbury and other Coquitlam First candidates were quoted in local media reports criticizing the influence of union endorsements on local elections, with Kingsbury saying that there was a “fundamental problem with unions electing their own people.”
CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill was surprised by Kingsbury’s comments in particular.
“That kind of labour-bashing hysteria is a bit rich, coming from him,” said O’Neill. “It was only last summer that he was coming to us, cap in hand, seeking our endorsement. And now he’s blaming us for his loss? It’s sour grapes, at best—raging hypocrisy, at worst.”
O’Neill cited a November 18 article from the Coquitlam Now in which CUPE 386 president Ken Landgraff and Canadian Office and Professional Employees (COPE) 378 president Andy Ross both confirmed that Kingsbury had sought their locals’ endorsement.
“Rather than being supportive of more people getting involved in elections—whether it be through their union or their local chamber of commerce—perhaps Kingsbury should take his ball and go home, which is what most bad losers do,” said O’Neill.
“He needs to get over it (losing the election) and do the right thing, along with the rest of the Coquitlam First slate: report donation sources, like the rest of us. Do it publicly and stop hiding behind loopholes. And if he is not willing to do that, then he should at least stop embarrassing himself with his ridiculous rhetoric.”