Accountability from city hall still a priority

The process that resulted in a low-barrier facility at Uplands seems all but a distant memory to some.

To the Editor,

With the renewed mandate for council by the majority of the 26 per cent that voted, the process that resulted in a low-barrier facility at Uplands seems all but a distant memory to some.

It shouldn’t be. The public should keep in mind the in-camera council meeting and the secret meeting with the province that resulted in co-location of low-barrier housing with the Island’s largest seniors facility.

That was not open and transparent government. That was two levels of government bending the rules to pursue an agenda.

Let’s be fair, this was not ‘perceived lack of public consultation’, this was plain and simple lack of consultation. Let’s also be fair and accept that the public wants and deserves consultation on issues that have an impact on their community and in a timely manner.

The City of Toronto defines consultation as, “Public consultation is the two-way exchange of information between the corporation and the public before decisions are made.

It is an open and accountable process allowing individuals and groups to participate in the decision-making process of the corporation.”

I would challenge council to take immediate action on concrete steps to ensure that this kind of avoidance of public consultation cannot happen again.

If this means that council in future needs to negotiate a public disclosure clause with the province then so be it. After all, Nanaimo has about 60,000 eligible voters, which should be quite persuasive.

Fred Kardel

Nanaimo

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