The Gibsons town councillor who withdrew his mayoral candidacy after nominations closed has been charged with impaired driving.
The Sunshine Coast RCMP issued a news release in early afternoon Nov. 2, announcing that Silas David White had been charged Oct. 24 with impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and care of control of a motor vehicle with blood alcohol over the legal limit, causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.
The news release does not explain why there was a delay in telling the public that a local politician had been charged.
The RCMP statement says that emergency crews attended a single-vehicle crash scene on Sept. 16 at 10:55 p.m. on Gower Point Road near 12th Street in Gibsons. There were three occupants of the vehicle who were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver was taken into custody under suspicion of impaired driving.
White’s first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 21 in Sechelt Provincial Court.
White, a book publisher, was elected to Gibsons council in 2014 and was appointed the town’s director on the Sunshine Coast Regional District board.
White announced his run for the mayoralty in July and was the only candidate for mayor when nominations closed Sept. 14. But he withdrew two days after the crash. At the time, White blamed the effects of a concussion from a July 1 cycling crash.
“Like many concussions, it did not seem serious at first, but as time went on, severe after-effects and other stress emerged,” according to White’s withdrawal statement. “My doctor has told me I should take a complete break from stressful activities to permit healing.”
In the statement, White said that he did not originally heed his doctor’s advice, “which only caused my condition to worsen and has led to a compounding series of problems and poor judgment.”
Minutes for the Gibsons town council meeting of Sept. 18 show that White was present. White announced his withdrawal on Sept. 18. Nominations were reopened Sept. 19-24. White was absent from the Oct. 2 and 16 meetings, however.
Bill Beamish was elected the new mayor of Gibsons in a landslide on Oct. 20.
Contacted by phone on Nov. 2, White mentioned the concussion and told theBreaker that he was working on a statement with this lawyer. “I don’t think I could handle an interview,” he said.
In the Nov. 2 statement, White called the last four months “an unimaginably dark time in my life.”
White claimed in the new statement that he could not talk about the crash “for a number of reasons, including protecting the privacy of others involved.”
“I am extremely grateful for the Gibsons and District Volunteer Fire Department and other first responders who attended the scene,” the statement reads. “I had not been charged with anything at that time, but the accident clearly illustrated to me and my loved ones that my judgment that evening was severely compromised by my brain injury. I felt I owed it to myself, my family and my community to concentrate on my ongoing recovery and medical treatment, and eventually face the consequences of the accident, as a private citizen rather than pressing on as a public official. This is also why shortly thereafter, I withdrew my name from the mayoral election.”
The statement said he received a court summons Nov. 1. “I have engaged legal counsel and hope to have these charges resolved as quickly as possible.”
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