Manners missing in dam debate

Leadership is sorely needed to ensure that council meetings are conducted in a manner that allows business to be undertaken.

To the Editor,

I watched recent televised council meetings, the decorum of which included the persistent, disruptive and disrespectful behaviour of many members of the group related to the Colliery Dams issue and I respectfully suggest that the City of Nanaimo take charge and introduce some rules for the order and decorum of meetings, to be observed by delegations and audience members in the city’s council chambers.

I understand that the rules of conduct and debate in the city’s Council Procedure Bylaw 2007 No. 7060 provide for decorum in debate among our elected officials. However, leadership is sorely needed to ensure that council meetings are conducted in a manner that allows the people’s business to be undertaken free from abusive and distracting behaviour, such as shouting out and repeated clapping from the audience. This lack of respect for fellow citizens is displayed online for all to see.

And why is question period no longer restricted to questions only?

I appreciate the concerns of the affected citizens regarding the potential loss of the use of the neighbourhood dams for recreational purposes.  However, participation in our democratic process comes with some responsibility, does it not?

Janet IrvineNanaimo