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Refreshments were just refreshments: vote buying and intimidation petition dismissed

Petition is dismissed.
Court
Refreshments, not votes.

The BC Supreme Court has ruled no such violation as vote buying or intimidation was found in a four day BC Supreme Court case concerning former and current mayors of Pouce Coupe.

Justice Ward Branch’s Tuesday decision notes paying for limited refreshments at a candidate event is not vote buying. 

“Very limited refreshments here was simple human decency,” he noted.

“Politeness, not politics.”

Michetti’s case concerning vote buying and intimidation centred around online posts made by Veach, and conversation with potential voters at a campaign Tea and Talk event held at Love and Pizza restaurant in Pouce Coupe.

Testimony over the four-day ordeal did note allegations stemming from inappropriate comments made to members of the public, including to other municipal candidates running, accusing Michetti to be involved in death of a former CAO of the village, as well as outing people who were otherwise hidden from their spouses because they were in a “witness protection” program of some sort.

It was noted since none of these allegations were realistic claims – they could not be considered intimidation.

The court noted while Veach had larger election related plans than just the Tea and Talk, this did not translate to a case of vote purchasing.

“I have found no such violation,” Branch wrote.

“I find the 2022 mayoral election in Village of Pouce Coupe was valid. The petition is dismissed.”

While no comment was received from Veach - she thanked supporters on social media Tuesday - calling the verdict relieving and celebratory news.

"My main focus has been and will always be to continue to working with the village, and staff, on bettering our community one day at a time. I am so thankful I still get to do that. have a wonderful Tuesday everyone," she said Tuesday.

Michetti said Tuesday afternoon her legal advisors are still processing the decision before making any official statements.

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