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POUCE COUPE, B.C. — Former Pouce Coupe mayor Lorraine Michetti is refusing to leave office without a fight after petitioning the B.C. Supreme Court to remove her successor.
Michetti is looking to have Danielle Veach’s election win declared invalid, claiming she bought votes and made “serious fraudulent misrepresentations” about Michetti’s character.
After losing the election by five votes to Veach, Michetti is asking the court to declare her the village’s mayor as the runner-up or a new election with Veach being disqualified from running or holding office as mayor for seven years.
The allegations in question come after Veach held a “Tea and Talk” at Love & Pizza in the village on September 18th.
In the digital poster for the event, Veach asked residents to come to enjoy refreshments “and ask questions, get to know me, and my plans towards bettering our community to reach a more financially sustainable future.”
During the meeting, Veach allegedly made false statements claiming Michetti was the reason for a former village administrator’s suicide and endangered a friend of Veach’s by giving out her contact information to an ex-husband while she was in a witness protection program.
The petition noted that Veach had also paid for all the refreshments at the event, including tea, coffee, and cinnamon buns.
“Ms. Veach provided refreshments and made the False Statements for the purpose of inducing those who attended her Tea and Talk event to vote for Ms. Veach and to refrain from voting against Ms. Michetti,” said Michetti’s petition to the supreme court.
Veach allegedly repeated these allegations prior to the election on October 15th.
“Ms. Veach repeated the False Statements to community members at other events held in the Village before the 2022 Municipal Election, including on September 29th 2022 at an event held at the Nawican Friendship Centre,” said the petition.
According to the petition, the poster for the “Tea and Talk” was posted on Facebook two days after Veach took to the platform to warn residents about Michetti going door-to-door. Veach mentioned she was unsure of the reasoning behind Michetti’s actions but told residents to be “weary” and believed the signatures were being collected for the former mayor’s lawyer.
Veach’s Facebook post also noted Michetti’s lengthy track record of suing the Village of Pouce Coupe.
Last year, a social media post made by Michetti, commenting on Indigenous people, was denounced by Peace region leaders.
The post’s caption read, “Don’t want pipeline’s? They want to protect our land. Yeah ok”. The caption was followed by pictures of homes surrounded by garbage.
Michetti has also posted to social media comparing gun owners to Holocaust victims and questioning the reported number of unvaccinated people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Veach’s political career started last year by winning a by-election held after two councillors resigned.
After being sworn in on October 6th, 2021, Veach motioned to have Michetti removed from all portfolio positions, a move that the previous council attempted but was later reversed by the supreme court. Ultimately, the decision was reversed again in March 2022.
Veach has yet to respond to any of the claims and has the opportunity to do so through the courts.
Below is a copy of the document filed with the B.C. Supreme Court.
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