When I saw on council’s agenda a massive report from staff about the emergency service building, I was hopeful the community could finally have a way forward with an issue that residents have been talking about for years.
Instead, council treated it no differently than if it was a congratulatory letter from some random municipality elsewhere in the province – which is to say they didn’t discuss it or really even acknowledge its existence.
Instead of meaningful discussion or dialogue on a report that outlined the financial implications and preferred location of the new RCMP detachment and fire hall, Gina Garon suggested it be tabled and council unanimously agreed.
To put it in the bluntest form possible while still keeping it family friendly, it was a joke and the people of Prince Rupert deserve a hell of a lot more than that from their elected officials.
You are going to tell me that council does not want to talk about or even touch upon something that will have huge financial implications on city coffers and directly impacts the safety of the people who call this town home?
Give me a break.
You’re also going to tell me that not one single councillor thought that there should be discussion on a report from staff saying the City should relocate Moose Tot Park and borrow $17 million?
I’m sorry, but I am not buying it. If you are, I have a bridge you may be interested in.
If I had to venture a guess, and I certainly could be wrong, based on the speed with which the matter was dealt with I would have to assume that council discussed this report amongst themselves either at the in-camera meeting before the chambers are opened to Joe Public or through some other type of correspondence before the meeting.
It would be a pretty easy assumption to come to, since council meets in-camera for two hours before the public meeting.
But, as I said, I could be wrong. And if that is the case, quite frankly, Rupertites still deserve more from this council than a tabling motion. I could see tabling the idea if a number of councillors weren’t present and council wanted to ensure all voices were heard, as was done with the feral cat issue, but that was not the case on Monday. All councillors were there and ready to talk.
So why didn’t a discussion take place? Because councillors said they had bigger fish to fry, so to speak. If you know what could be more important than moving forward to protect the men and women who protect us and the financial future of the City, please let me know.
Council is elected to make decisions on important subjects. In this instance they failed to do so, and I cannot see any justification why.