How it took a Federal Compliance Order to Force Mayor Brian Wiese and the Town of Qualicum Beach to Respect the Law and our Wildlife

Mayor Brian Wiese issued Federal Compliance Order

The “Holyake Clearcut” was a pivotal event that started in January 2020, when concerned citizens watched in horror as the Town of Qualicum Beach destroyed the habitat of a Great Blue Heron Colony--a sensitive species that is considered at-risk and protected by law. But what happened next was a catalyst that created a new generation of “activists”, as they watched their beloved Town engage in activity that certainly seemed to contravene Federal and Provincial law. It is thanks to the efforts of those citizens--working in collaboration with the provincial & federal government--that saved this heron colony.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” Mahatma Gandhi

From information provided to us by a citizen who made a request under the BC FOIPPA Act, we have reconstructed a timeline of what occurred. In what appears to be a hell-bent effort to reach a grant deadline, the Town relentlessly pursued construction activities in contradiction to citizens’ wishes, their own experts, the provincial government and wildlife protection laws. After numerous instructions, recommendations and pleas that fell to deaf ears, Mayor Brian Wiese began to lead the charge with a folly of a plan concocted to meet a deadline at any cost.

We have received a copy of a draft Federal Compliance Order that was sent to the mayor, and mentions him by name. Since the Director of Engineering made reference to the same order imposed on him during an April 22nd meeting, we can only assume the final one was issued days later to these two men (and our town).

Why does it take an order from the Federal government to make our Town follow the law? Is this what Qualicum Beach is? What happened to the Town we all fell in love with? What must we do to restore Qualicum Beach to the amazing town that use to reflect our sustainable vision and love for our environment?

August 19th, 2020 Update: An additional FOI has produced the final federal compliance order. While the recipients are redacted, the mayor is named on page 2.