The Abbotsford News has posted an article (https://www.abbynews.com/news/abbotsford-mayors-political-opponents-suspicious-as-braun-tries-to-sell-eagle-mountain-lot/) in which Henry Braun attempts to address allegations raised by an article posted on this web site (http://www.abbotsfordtoday.ca/mayor-son-implicated-in-collusion-on-land-deal/). In that article, the primary question that we believe deserved an answer was:
Why did you transfer ownership of the property on Glenn Mountain from your son to yourself less than 60 days before a new development application was submitted to the Planning and Development Department, the same Department in which your son Darren Braun is a Director?
Mr. Braun fails to answer that question and instead talks of how it was his money used to purchase the property. He also states how is hoping to recoup the investment with this latest sale. Of course, he also took immediate steps to rectify the unethical property listing “as soon as he saw it”.
So, the important question goes unanswered.
It should also be noted that no response has been received by Abbotsford Today from Henry or Darren Braun.
Mr. Braun’s answers not only fail to dispel concerns over this suspicious behaviour, it actually raises more questions:
- Why transfer the property to recover your investment? Would your son not pay you back?
- Why transfer it 60 days before a new development application? You’ve owned it for 10 years and listed it last year for sale, with your son’s name still on title?
- Does this property appear on your current financial disclosure?
- You claim that this file would not “go anywhere near” Darren in his capacity as Director of Planning, but our article lays out the fact that an email inquiring about the property went directly to Darren, with no safeguards in place to insure it was not passed to him. Explain.
The article also touches on Darren Braun’s involvement in the recommendation to locate the new $28 million Transit Hub adjacent to land owned by Henry Braun. Braun’s defense is that the land value may go down instead of up. Again, he avoids the question of conflict. It does not matter if the land value goes up or down. It matters that Darren Braun should not have spoken in any capacity, when the outcome may effect his Father’s property. The idea that the land value would go down is in no way relevant. Should the land value go up, do we get to challenge Mr. Braun then? The very reason why conflict of interest laws are in place is to insure that subjectivity of this very nature are not used to decide what is a conflict and what is not. All actions of this nature are a conflict of interest and Henry Braun and his son, Darren Braun should have acted accordingly.