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General News · 3rd May 2012
Paul Brewer
I received the same letter Miranda ... 40+ of them were sent out. Here's my reply:

May 2, 2012

Ronna-Rae Leonard
Chair, Board of Trustees
Vancouver Island Regional Library

Dear Ms Leonard,

Thank you kindly for your letter of May 1, 2012 attempting to explain the activity of certain VIRL employees. It is indeed appreciated that you and the Board seem to understand how much their actions have damaged the Cortes community.

As you properly admit, VIRL has for some time (over two years) known that the floor of the Cortes Library did not meet the stringent load-bearing requirement for your buildings yet were willing to allow its continued use pending negotiations toward providing a new library.

Unfortunately to try and use the WorkSafeBC Hazard Alert as an excuse for the sudden, unilateral closure, without any warning to the community is not credible. While the Alert was posted on the WorkSafeBC website on April 28, 2012, my understanding is that VIRL had the information in its possession for some time prior to the April 27, 2012 closure. In any event, the Alert does not have any relevance to the matters at hand. First, as VIRL has been very aware since it entered into its lease, the Cortes library does not meet the definition of “mezzanine”. Second, anyone reading the Alert , can also see from the wording that it, in no manner, authorizes or supports the sudden action of your staff on any basis. This is an “Alert” only.

With respect, what we have here is someone (perhaps two someones) deciding to “take their ball and go home” in reaction to the Cortes Library Committee’s failure to meet their expectations in negotiating a new building.

There is absolutely no reason that the current space cannot continue in its use until a new building can be constructed that is appropriate to the ambiance of this island. Again, I thank you for your commitment to providing library services to this remote community and look forward to the Board’s swift action in this regard.

Yours Truly,


cc Everyone on your list (I hope)