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LETTER: Summerside City Council quashes speech

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network

EDITOR: Summerside City Council’s decision on monthly meetings will be challenged, regarding people attending not being allowed to speak or ask questions. I encourage as many residents as possible attend these council meeting. It is here, where citizens/taxpayers can see first-hand how our mayor and council operate in managing our money.

Present police, under the new Municipal Government Act (Section 70), does allow people to make presentations, with a four-day notice in advance. These usually involve request for funding, zoning issues, bylaw implementation, building restrictions, just to mention some. What concerns me as a taxpayer, is not being able to speak or ask questions at monthly meeting. The city council, when faced with this, had better thread a fine line. Our Charter of Rights and Freedom, recognizing everyone must have the right to free speech. It does not identify city council meeting, not allowing for freedom of speech. Times have changed, all for the best I may add, in terms of openness, transparency and accountability.

If Summerside city council promotes engagement, welcoming as many residents as possible attend, they had better be ready to face this challenge. I am sure this is coming soon.

Maybe an extension or addition to Section 20 under MGA is required soon. This is an issue Mayor Basil Stewart should address, in public, as to avoid an embarrassing situation.

David Griffin,

Summerside

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