After last week’s rehearsed “coup” at Council that saw the duly-elected Chair of the Heritage Committee “replaced” with Councillor Dunstall, this site brings forth the next charade… curbing your right to free expression at Town Hall.
Once again, Councillor Dunstall has been given the role as “point man” and has had his name affixed to this motion for discussion at the March 2nd Council meeting:
SUBJECT: Meeting Decorum
REQUESTED BY: Councillor Dunstall
Whereas the Planning Committee hold open houses and statutory public meeting for development application where the public attends and can become disruptive; and
Whereas the public should not be intimidated to speak on any matter because other members of the public show a reaction; and
Whereas Council is moving to committee of the whole and all meetings will be live streamed; and
Whereas decorum can be described as decency, good manners, good taste, courtesy, respectability and dignity; and in keeping with good taste and propriety;
Therefore be it resolved that Council include process for decorum in the Council Chamber meetings, including open houses and statutory public meetings in the procedural bylaw.Source: NOTICE OF MOTION DATED FEBRUARY 18, 2020
Once you start reading between the lines and ignoring the author(s) grammatical errors, it does not require much thinking to see what is really going on here. For one, you have been bad!
Former Mayor Bentley used to chastise members of the public who “show(ed) a reaction” by commenting on at least one occasion, “this is not a sporting event, it’s a meeting”. Indeed he was correct, it was not a sporting event but a meeting of government in which people individually or collectively are by right allowed to express themselves as part of a democratic society.
If you do not want to have to sit on your hands at Town meetings, specifically “open houses” and statutory public meetings for planning applications, then “express” your sentiments to your Councillor and see where they stand on your rights and freedoms.
If you want your concerns to become part of the public record, you can e-mail the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org before noon on Friday February 28 with your correspondence and request it be included in the March 2nd agenda distributed to members of Council.