Cranbrook city hall.

Cranbrook mayor responds to Attorney General in dispute over housing, crime issues

Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt hits back at AG David Eby, following dueling statements on housing, crime issues

Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt fired back at Attorney General David Eby over recent correspondence surrounding an increase of petty crime and need for housing supports in the community.

Pratt responded to Eby’s letter, which accused Pratt of misrepresenting information from a conversation the two had on Feb. 1.

READ: BC Attorney General, Cranbrook city council seek meeting on housing supports, crime

“Let me set the record straight,” said Pratt, during Monday night’s city council meeting. “He refers to a talk I gave to the Chamber of Commerce and refers to the article in the press. He says I did not mention the issues of homelessness or increased crime and disorder.

“First of all, he should get his facts straight. I wasn’t talking to the Chamber of Commerce, I was talking to the noon-hour Rotary Club at their request. It was to be an update on the growth, economic activity and how we came through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At no time was it meant to be about homelessness or increased crime in the city.”

Pratt said that those issues was raised later in a meeting at the request of the business community — a meeting that resulted in the phone call with the Attorney General on Feb. 1.

Pratt also noted a reference in Eby’s letter about “different political traditions” and said political preferences were never discussed or mentioned in the conversation.

“He then says he presented several options to me to advance discussions and potential work to be done,” Pratt said. “This is not true. He called an end to the call.”

Pratt said Eby noted he would check in with BC Housing and the Solicitor General and get back to the mayor.

“I haven’t heard from him until we received the letter,” Pratt said.

Eby’s letter was included in the city council agenda package for a meeting on March 14 — a meeting where Pratt was away on holidays.

Acting Mayor Wes Graham issued a letter in response to Eby’s correspondence, noting that council would welcome the opportunity to discuss potential upcoming opportunities to work together with the province on housing initiatives.

Pratt agreed.

“We would welcome the opportunity to hear about these opportunities he [Eby] has mentioned,” Pratt said. “As you heard tonight, we have sent him a letter requesting his presence at a future meeting, and look forward to working together. I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions of that letter that we received in my absence.”