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Is this Central Saanich councillor on paid leave in the Cayman Islands?

Nov 24 2012
Central Saanich councillor Terry Siklenka. 

Central Saanich councillor Terry Siklenka.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , Times Colonist

Questions are being raised about the whereabouts of Central Saanich councillor Terry Siklenka, who is apparently working in the Cayman Islands while on paid leave from his council duties.

Council members - who approved the six-month paid leave, worth almost almost $6,000 on Nov. 5 - could get some answers as soon as Monday, said Mayor Alastair Bryson.

Bryson said he first heard of Siklenka in connection with a Cayman air conditioning company on Tuesday and instructed municipal staff to make contact with him, which they have.

Depending on advice from staff, a discussion on the issue could take place during a previously scheduled in-camera meeting on Monday or the Dec. 3 meeting of council, Bryson said.

Asked if the leave may be cancelled as a result of the discussion, Bryson said: "I wouldn't want to speculate. I think we'll wait till we have a council discussion."

Siklenka, a former general manager of Cairnview Mechanical Ltd., no longer answers the business cell-phone number he listed as his contact number on the municipal webpage. The person who answered the phone said Siklenka no longer works for the company.

Siklenka does appear, however, as a staff member of Polar Bear Air Conditioning, a company servicing air conditioners in the Cayman Islands.

On the Cayman Islands company's website, Sik-lenka is listed as Polar Bear's service co-ordinator.

The Cayman connection arose when Central Saanich resident and blogger Ryan Windsor stumbled across the website for Polar Bear Air Conditioning while seeking an updated photo of Siklenka to use in a post about his extended absence from Central Saanich council.

When Windsor called Polar Bear, he was told Sik-lenka had been employed there full time for two months.

Attempts by Windsor to speak directly to Siklenka failed when the councillor complained of a bad connection, he said. Other calls were not put through.

However, after Windsor blogged about Siklenka's Cayman Islands job on the Saanich Voice Online website, a person claiming to be Siklenka posted on a Brentwood Bay group page on Facebook, saying that the company he is working for is doing good work.

"Polar Bear is helping rebuild a boys orphanage [they need tables and chairs] in Haiti and a church and living quarters in the Dominican Republic. They always need things like cloths, shoes, food, building materials and money," the post reads in part.

"I guess these type of things aren't as important to Ryan Windsor or [Central Saanich blogger] Sue Stroud or they would quit wasting their time and energy chasing me down and maybe get out there and help the world a little.

I'm very proud to work for a company who supports this in a major way and I sleep very well at night."

"I don't know who actually wrote the post, but it's certainly got [Siklenka's] Facebook picture on it," Windsor said.

The Saanich house Sik-lenka owns with his wife, Maxine, is listed at $939,900 with the option of immediate possession, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Siklenka, who was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2011, last attended a council meeting on Sept. 4. He was officially put on a paid leave of absence Nov. 5, following an in-camera session of council.



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