By André Faust
What was City Council thinking when they held a closed private meeting behind the public’s back on January 25, 2016 to approve sending a letter of support for the construction of the Energy East Pipeline to the Prime Minister without consulting its citizens first?
Haven’t they learned anything from the screw up they did with Occupy Fredericton where they paid out an out of court settlement of 14,350$ to the plaintiffs because the city operated outside the law when they ordered the demolition of the Occupy Camp.
An inside source has leaked that prior to meeting some councilors present express serious concerns about the legality of holding this clandestine meeting without the public’s knowledge and the political backlash that could arise should the public find out.
The Municipalities act clearly states what meetings can be held privy to the public and which meetings can’t.
Yet council proceeded move ahead to honour the request from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to send a letter of support to Prime-Minister Trudeau.
The City of Edmundston did it right, they consulted with their citizens first before making their decision to oppose the construction of the pipe line. The city asked for a guarantee from energy east that there were no chances of any contamination from the Energy east pipeline. Since 2009 there has, on average 2 catastrophic breaches per year.
Considering the risks, Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard told CBC “the city’s water source is not negotiable” and “C’est le rôle du conseil municipal de protéger les intérêts de la population”, meaning it is the responsibility of a city council to protect the interests of it’s citizens, which the city of Fredericton has failed miserably to do so by making their decision incognito to the public.
The city to date has refused to answer any questions from the media in regards to the legality of the meeting and the lack of consultation with its citizen. With an election around the corner what do you expect?
In light that the city was in error to approve the letter to send to Trudeau, The city of Fredericton Now needs to do the honorable thing and Take Back the Letter!