EDITOR: Citizens of Summerside not being allowed to ask questions during monthly council meetings must be explained to the general public. City policy under the new Municipal Government Act, Section 20, does set out procedure allowing residents to speak on issues concerning funding, zoning issues, by-Law, development, etc. All these requests have to be sent the CAO, found days in advance. I have no problem with this procedure. My concern is people in the gallery at the monthly meeting are not allowed to speak.
I certainly challenge city council on this. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows everyone the freedom of speech, and yes this would include our monthly council meeting, that deals with our tax dollars. This challenge will happen in city council meetings soon.
City council talks about openness, accountability and transparency, then does not allow citizens attending to speak. This is not an open process. Council must review this, to ensure people are not denied their freedom of speech. What possibly could be wrong with public engagement at monthly meeting.
This should be explained fully to the public. Not allowing public engagement at monthly meetings in just wrong. We will wait for a public response from Mayor Basil Stewart.