Sparwood Mayor David Wilks has resigned from Teck Coal over a perceived conflict of interest.
Wilks started with the mining company in April 2017, initially as a pit labourer before being transferred to the training department in November.
His resignation this week comes as the District of Sparwood continues to work closely with Teck on addressing impacts from nearby Elkview Operations on the Sparwood community.
“It became to be too much with both jobs,” Wilks told The Free Press.
“My passion is politics, my passion is being the Mayor of Sparwood and my passion is serving those who elected me.
“I recognized that right from the outset when I got elected in November… That decision was mine and mine alone to make, and I recognized that after talking to a lot of people, that it was time for me to pick one or the other.
“I’m comfortable with my decision and look forward to doing what I was elected to do… serve the people of Sparwood.”
Wilks said he personally didn’t see there being a conflict of interest but still sought legal advice from two B.C. law firms specializing in municipal law.
Both were of the opinion that he was in a perceived – not real – conflict of interest.
“As a result of that… I ensured that I stayed out of any decisions that we were making on Teck but I also recognized that that was really not a good position for me to be in and I made the decision to resign from Teck, so that I would be free of any perceived conflict and that I could move forwards with any issues that come forward with Teck in confidence,” said Wilks.
Wilks said the District has a strong relationship with Teck and will continue to work collaboratively with the company through the Socio-Community and Economic Effects Advisory Committee, which is overseeing the Baldy Ridge Extension project at Elkview.