The Regional District of Nanaimo board. (News Bulletin file)

RDN directors quash motion to make strategic planning sessions public

Tyler Brown, RDN Nanaimo director, said motion would have allowed for transparency

Regional District of Nanaimo directors quashed an initiative seeking to open strategic planning sessions to the public.

Tyler Brown, RDN Nanaimo director, posed the motion at a Tuesday committee meeting, seeking to allow public access to planning sessions. A pair are slated for Jan 15 and 29. It would allow people to see “how and why” the regional district makes all of its decisions and for accountability, suggested Brown, who disagreed with the notion that closed meetings allow for more fulsome discussion.

“Although it may be common or past practice, or someone finds it more convenient or comfortable for strategic planning sessions to be closed to the public, I do not believe it is appropriate,” said Brown. “The community charter lists specifically the reasons a local government can consider matters in closed meetings. Comfort or convenience for elected officials is not found on that list.”

The proposal was met with resistance by a majority of RDN directors.

Phyllis Carlyle, RDN chief administrative officer, said there are differences between open workshops and open meetings. The latter requires a chairperson, an agenda and everything must be done by motion.

Don Bonner, Nanaimo director, said RDN residents should have a say in discussion.

“I believe that we were elected to set a strategic plan for our municipalities and the district and I think that we owe it to the public to do this in an open forum,” said Bonner.

Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo director, was opposed, stating that there is confidential information the public shouldn’t be privy to.

“When we bring up in camera items, which there will be some, what point will we go in camera? Do we do that daily … because there will be certain topics that must be in camera by charter,” said Armstrong.

Only Brown and Bonner voted in favour. Jim Turley, Nanaimo director, was not present.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Youth-led projects eligible for grants from Nanaimo Foundation and RBC

Nanaimo Foundation teaming with RBC Future Launch Community Challenge

Clippers play against each other, get ready to play against someone else

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey team held its Rhodesie Cup intrasquad game Wednesday

Nanoose Bay’s Northwest Bay Road again open to the public

Single-lane alternating traffic expected to stretch into September

Ski coach Bertrand Charest’s sentence for sexual abuse reduced

Appeal court judge: ‘His narcissistic personality is still present’

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

VIEX all set for 125th anniversary fair

Vancouver Island Exhibition taking place at Nanaimo’s Beban Park from Aug. 23-25

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo’s ‘Kidney Condo’ accommodates out-of-town dialysis patients

Facility first of its kind on Vancouver Island, according to Kidney Foundation of Canada

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read