Tim Banks

A good friend of mine, Peter Rukavina, has been writing on his Ruk.ca weblog (in various incarnations) for about eight years. I’ve always enjoyed reading what Peter writes. Over the years, Peter has written a variety of posts about Tim Banks. Tim is the President and CEO of the APM Group, a development and construction company.

While the things Peter wrote about Mr. Banks were seldom flattering, they were not unreasonable. In November of 2005, Peter wrote about how Banks had asked the Mayor of Charlottetown to remove Councillor Kim Devine from a planning committee because she had what Banks called an “obstructionist attitude.”

Last month, a few of us were on our way to a public meeting about a downtown development plan hosted by the City of Charlottetown. On our way to the meeting, Peter snapped this photo of an illegally parked vehicle that was easily recognized by most of us as Tim Banks’ car (the vanity license plate bears the company name, APM). As a courtesy, Peter did not include Mr. Banks’ name when he posted the photo. Many locals would recognize the vehicle, but without a name, it wouldn’t show up if people were to search for Mr. Banks’ name online.

Apparently Mr. Banks was not pleased about this. As Peter recounts in some detail, Mr. Banks walked up to him in a coffee shop, confronted him about the car photo, and then “took a swing at the full cup of coffee in my hand, spilling it across the counter and over my newspaper and breakfast.”

Peter notified the police about the incident, which is completely appropriate. I’m saddened to see a good friend and good writer have to fear this kind of repercussion to having written online. If a traditional newspaper journalist had published the photo and was similarly assaulted, this kind of behaviour wouldn’t be be considered acceptable, nor should it be in Peter’s case.

This may not be of interest to many readers, being a local incident. However, I do think it should be of interest to anyone concerned about the ability of people to write and publish without fear of intimidation, no matter the degree.


16 thoughts on “Tim Banks

  1. I’d like to say I can’t believe it, but, for me it really isn’t that hard to believe. During my summers home from university I worked at a couple of the Island’s well known golf resorts (as a bell-hop, bartender, and server) and ran into Mr. Banks on a couple of occasions; all of which stick out in my head as leaving me with higher blood pressure.

    I guess this shows that online journalism is becoming more mainstream, though this incident really serves as a rotten sign of that.

    One thing I am glad to hear is that the City police got back to Peter so quickly. Whether they ever approach Mr. Banks about it is another thing.

  2. I like having anonymous and named presences online. I don’t think it’s just a local issue. Stuff like this happens all over. I’m optimistic that eventually this will lead to fewer jerks in the world, after the repercussions of their actions lead to what I consider inevitable consequences.

  3. Wow – never met the man that I can recall but he apparently can be a jerk. Good the police were called.

  4. Sorry guys, I am impartial to this. There is clearly two sides to this story and more to this then what we see.

    1) Why would Peter bother taking a photo of a car illegally parked? Sorry, but in Charlottetown this IS a common occurrence, why not take a photo of a speeder? Walk down any street and I’m sure you will see cars illegally parked. Would Peter have taken the photo if it was any other persons car? Doubt it.

    Sure, not posting a name might help hide the person. But really, as you said most locals would recognize it and associate its owner with it. This post, dated March 11 2007 by Peter, would imply he knew that perhaps he was pissing Tim Banks off. Fueling the fire? Perhaps.

    2) Then on the same note we have Peter’s side.

  5. John Morris: I don’t think anyone would argue that Banks doesn’t have reason to be angry or annoyed – it’s that he took that anger and turned it into an assault (albeit minor) that is so unconscionable.

  6. John: You are really missing the point. It is never OK for someone to use violence, or the threat of violence, in response to something another person has written.

    What if someone doesn’t like what a CBC Compass reporter has said in one of their stories? If it is a truthful story (which Peter’s is — it is cooberated by staff) is it still ok to threaten that reporter with violence in order to stop them from broadcasting any more stories that you don’t like?

    The idea, John, that you condone violence as a response and suggest that it is justified is astonishing. Do you threaten people when they say things you don’t like? Do you swing at them? I bet you don’t. Why is it OK for Tim Banks to do that?

  7. All I Have to say is….” what if, you were as successful as Tim…and had this type of reporting or jouralism put towards you? … in no other manor was it taken and posted other then to make him look bad”
    In this case i agree with John, there are tons of other illegal acts daily in our city, parking to name a few…..but we have to target the big guys that people will recognize..right? seems that way

  8. This whole discussion reminds me of a bunch of bullies “with words of course” harassing someone and then act all surprised when he cracks and fights back.

    Shame on you, and to think I’m only guessing here but probably some of you were picked on when you were kids and now you are doing it online.

  9. In response to “1) Why would Peter bother taking a photo of a car illegally parked? Sorry, but in Charlottetown this IS a common occurrence, why not take a photo of a speeder? Walk down any street and I’m sure you will see cars illegally parked. Would Peter have taken the photo if it was any other persons car? Doubt it.”

    I’m sure that you can afford the 0.25 cent parking fee when you own such a large company and you should be made an example of when you think the rules don’t apply to you. Set the example, don’t be the example.

    Just because it IS a common occurrence in Charlottetown doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Anywhere you go illegal parking IS a common occurrence, not just in Charlottetown. That doesn’t make it OK. It does seem that in our society we simply turn a blind eye to many things simply because they are common-place.

    This blog isn’t about bullying anybody. It’s about the right to write and publish what you wish (with-in reason of course). If you don’t want your car being pointed out for being illegally parked then don’t illegally park your car. It’s quite simple. Why retaliate like it was pure slander?

  10. Can anyone remember the name of the current Supreme Court justice of PEI who ‘punched out’ CBC Executive Director Steve Andrusak?

    It was over a CBC news story about this now judges then extra-curricular activities…


  11. Friends,

    Tim Banks is a local legend. The man is above us all and especially the law. His collection of fine Porsche vehicles have top speeds that RCMP couldn’t muster up with a cessna. He is probably the biggest deal east of Cape Tormentine.

    His presence in the community is priceless. Seriously. He is really, really important.

    His anger is inspirational to us all. I got angry today because now I know I have the right to splash steaming hot beverages on people and ruin any literature and delicious breakfast bagels in the vicinity. It’s my right! And Tim Banks endorses me!

    Needless to say, he can do what he wants just cause.

    I’ve heard rumors his ego has it’s own 5 story dwelling with a 3 car garage some where in Tracadie.

    I think we can all agree he is a knob.

    Go Tim! GO!

  12. I’ve written 10 minutes ago of Tim Banks the first time and tried to find more about him. So this story is not the only one of antics of Tim Banks.

    All over the world there are people like Tim Banks and I don’t understand why exactly these people are so succesfull.

    Yes, he is a knob and one of the biggest.

    Greets from Germany

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