Thursday, October 14, 2010


At the Melancthon all candidate's meeting held this week, an incumbent Councillor advised in their closing monologue that:

"a Council can not appear to be hostile or else a proponent does not have to pay the cost of any peer reviews or studies done for or on behalf of the municipality and that the cost would fall to the taxpayers".

The basis for that statement-no idea. Council or the incumbent has certainly not provided any legal opinion or case law to back up this statement. Seems chick...I mean convenient, doesn't it?

Case law titled Save Richmond Farmland Society v. Richmond (c Twp), however provides a different view.

The point in issue in the case is whether an alderman (Councillor) can properly participate in the process leading to the passage of a by-law if his mind is made up before the real decision-making stage of the process is reached.

In fact, the appeal was dismissed when the Supreme Court judge ruled:

"It is a foolish politician who does not listen carefully to and weigh the strongly held opinions of his constituents; if nothing else it is foolish because it may cost him his seat. Mr. Mawby has been part of this debate from its inception. He has heard, I am sure, all the arguments and he has expressed his conclusion and expressed it strongly. He had the right to do so. In my view, the public life of British Columbia would be the poorer if in a matter of this kind a politician must keep an inscrutable face and a silent tongue not disclosing his strongly held opinions lest he be deprived of his vote. There should be no penalty for candour. However distasteful Mr. Mawby's opinions may be to a very large segment of the electors of Richmond, he is entitled to hold them and to express them by his vote at the council table. "
SO, according to the incumbent (based on what???) a Council as a whole can't collectively decide against a decision, but this Supreme Court decision would certainly indicate that individual Councillors can.
So why aren't our Melancthon Councillors, individually listening to their ratepayers and being the municipal Champion that ratepayers are begging for, instead what appears to be listening as a collective whole and reverentially deferring to one large, foreign backed corporation?

Read the entire case is at this link and then YOU decide

1 comment:

  1. No fucking idea. Council....over to you.