A definition, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary;
- Democracy – A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
What has happened here? A group of like-minded, concerned business people approached the City to present an opposing view to a matter up for discussion at the next council meeting. They were denied.
Many interested parties in the proposed Bus Terminal Relocation had requested to receive notice of when City Council was to consider the matter. They didn’t get it.
“We will seek leave to make a presentation in opposition to the move of the Terminal to the proposed relocation site,” said a representative of the group in an e-mail request to the City. “I would also ask, in advance of such a meeting, for a copy of any report that may be considered by Council. I would respectfully suggest that we receive sufficient lead time to prepare for such a meeting.”
The City’s response to their request is copied below, authored by CAO Malcolm White, one of three members of the Agenda Review Committee.
If you remember in a previous story, the Agenda Review Committee approves what goes on the Agenda for City Council and is made up of three members, Mayor Christian Provenzano, CAO White and City Clerk Rachel Tyczinski.
Councillor Luke Dufour even went as far as telling us he had only previously seen the committee deny something if it was illegal. So why this response from White?
“Your request was reviewed at the Agenda Review Committee meeting this afternoon. Aside from the consultant who will be presenting the Relocation Feasibility Study, we will not be receiving delegations for this item,” said White.
The response continues.
“The study was conducted as an Environmental Assessment (EA) process with significant opportunity for public consultation – the amount of consultation exceeded the requirements for this level of EA,” said White. “The input received, including that in opposition to the relocation, is included in both the consultant report and the staff report, both of which will be available when the agenda is posted publicly on Friday morning – I will ask Tom to forward copies directly to you at that time.
Should you wish to provide any written material for Council to consider as part of the decision, we can certainly make that available to them.”
In short, a delegation in this case, the consultant, is getting an opportunity to present information. Those opposed have been told, “no”.
Earlier this year, it was alleged that a faulty survey was done in support. This was only one of the inconsistencies that appeared in regards to the relocation. A letter from the Machine Shop stated a few others.
“The public information sessions held revealed an important message. Not all stakeholders within our community were consulted nor aware of the public sessions. These examples include the Downtown businesses, Soo Greyhounds hockey club and tourism partners.”
So why would the committee choose not to let a delegation opposed to the relocation matter speak to council? Has this happened before?
In a similar matter, Pointe Des Chenes Campground, SaultOnline was told that within weeks the land was to be deemed excess by the city, therefore allowing it to be sold. We also know that councillors voted against that motion behind closed doors.
Is the same thing happening here?
Take the time to cast your vote on SaultOnline’s most recent poll concerning this matter, as well as others.
Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you more information in regards to the ongoing discussions around this important issue.