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Corrigan rival fires back: 'When you've been around too long, you kind of make things up'

Burnaby mayoral race heats up, as Mike Hurley responds to vote stacking claims
Mayor showdown
Mayoral candidate Mike Hurley has fired back at incumbent Derek Corrigan.

Mayoral candidate Mike Hurley is firing back at Mayor Derek Corrigan, who accused him of stacking a labour council vote to gain a crucial endorsement.

“It's the same tired old messaging from Corrigan – that it's always someone else's fault and never his,” Hurley said. “You just come to expect that.”

Hurley was responding to comments Corrigan made in a recent NOW story about the New Westminster and District Labour Council (NWDLC) endorsing Hurley for mayor in the Oct. 20 municipal election. 

Corrigan said Hurley "stacked the meeting with firefighters from all over the region" in order to earn the endorsement. (Corrigan did not respond to an interview request for this story.)

The endorsement was a striking break from tradition, as the NWDLC has endorsed Corrigan in all five of his successful runs for the mayor’s chair.

But firefighters were only five of 60 delegates who voted at the June 27 meeting, according to Hurley.

“If that's what Mr. Corrigan calls 'stacking the deck,' then I guess, as usual, when you've been around too long, you kind of make things up,” he said.

The president of the local firefighters union – a post Hurley previously held for eight years – said he was one of those five firefighters at the meeting.

“I do not know where Mayor Corrigan got his facts (he did not attend) but they are wrong and he may want to check his sources as they are not giving him a factual account," Jeff Clark said in an email.

Hurley said Clark is supportive of his campaign but not directly involved.

Both Corrigan and Green Party mayoral candidate Joe Keithley have suggested Hurley is mainly interested in representing firefighters, who have had a testy relationship with Corrigan, including a four-year contract negotiation that ended in 2016 following arbitration.

“I have no personal vendetta,” Hurley said. “I'm very concerned about the direction of the city and how people are being discarded in the city now and not being listened to.”

NWDLC secretary treasurer Janet Andrews was not available to comment on this story. She previously confirmed Hurley’s endorsement to the NOW.

Andrews also confirmed that NWDLC delegates voted to decline endorsing the seven incumbent councillors, all of whom are members of Corrigan’s Burnaby Citizens Association party.