Last month, former Conservative candidate Marc Dalton succeeded in putting a number of his supporters on the Burnaby-New Westminster riding association's board of directors. But it seems Mr. Dalton, a former community church pastor who now works as a teacher-librarian, didn't want anyone to know he was behind that plan. In an email marked "CONFIDENTIAL" and sent out prior to the association's annual general meeting, he instructs supporters to put their names forward as would-be board members. But, he warns, "let this be done in a natural flow - it might cause concern if all 17 raise hands excitedly the moment volunteers and nominations are asked for."
Mr. Dalton then mentions some of those running for the board are neutral, while "others might be opposed to me" - adding that he'll be sending out a list of preferred candidates. But he asks his supporters to "KEEP (the) LIST HIDDEN UNTIL YOU NEED TO USE IT." And, "when you print it, please make sure that my name or email address is not on it when you bring the paper to the meeting. You may want to cut it so that it is small. Please don't lose possession of the list...God bless Marc."
So what's the reason for all this secrecy? Reached at Pitt Meadows Elementary School, Mr. Dalton explained it's just part "internal workings" of federal, provincial and even union politics. "And it's not for general consumption."
As for why he wanted his supporters on the board, Dalton explained, "My objective is to build a strong boardâ€¦I had a lot of volunteers in the last campaign who were very active. I wanted to see them on (the board) to basically build a foundation for the next election. To build a team. And that's really important to me. The election readiness begins now."
Mr. Dalton also rejected the notion that he took over the board, adding "It wasn't like we forced our people in there. Everyone was acclaimed." And he said his activities don't have anything to do with plans to run again for the Conservative nomination in Burnaby-New Westminster. "As the candidate of record, I'm looking to build a strong team," explained Mr. Dalton. The following is a reformatted and edited copy of the text of that email.
CONFIDENTIAL - Do not bring this email to the meeting - CONFIDENTIAL
Thank-you once again for being willing to put your name up for the board of directors. 30 directors and 3 associate directors can be voted in. You are one of 15 hopeful directors and 2 associate directors. This is a bare majority, so your presence is very important. There are two parts to the AGM.
In the first, the current president will speak and give a summary of the year. Afterwards, a vote for a new board of directors will be held. Volunteer to put your name on the list even if it goes beyond 30 names - let this be done in a natural flow - it might cause concern if all 17 raise hands excitedly the moment volunteers and nominations are asked for. Make sure that everyone in category one gets their name on the list. Nominate if necessary.
Vote for everyone in category 1 (bold) - these people are letting their names stand for nomination.
Vote for the associate directors (Bold) - the McLeans and Nestor S (he is the financial agent though I don't know if he is a supporter).
Vote for category 2 people (italics) if they are on the list (there is no need to nominate them) - some have been on the board for a while. Some are neutral others and others might be opposed to me.
Finally - for the remaining positions, vote for people who are actually at the meeting who want to be on.
If ballots need to be counted, nominate someone from category one to assist with counting.
There is a brief meeting afterwards to vote for the executive:
Please vote for SENNA for President
2 Vice President positions, in order of preference: George Norton, Alain Musende, Mike Redmond
Secretary - Shirley McLean
Financial agent - Nestor Slywka
Nominate and vote for someone in category one to count votes. Please don't bring this sheet to the meeting. You may need to bring the list of names to know who to vote for, but KEEP LIST HIDDEN UNTIL YOU NEED TO USE IT. There is a possibility that everyone is acclaimed in PART ONE, but this is not certain. A secret ballot will likely be necessary for voting for the Executive.
I am sending the list in another email. I will embed the names in an email for those who are unable to download the attachment. When you print it, please make sure that my name or email address is not on it when you bring the paper to the meeting. You may want to cut it so that it is small. Please don't lose possession of the list. I value your involvement. I hope I have not made things too complicated. Please email me or phone me at 312.9833 if you have questions. Try and arrive just prior to 7 pm with identification. If your name is not on the membership list, see Shirley McLean (Secretary) - she will have confirmation receipts for different ones of you. Once you have received the other email, please email me again confirming that you have received it and that you understand the instructions.