For everyone living in Metro Vancouver, they will vividly recall how holding 'secret' in-camera meetings became the hot-button issue for the last civic election. Mayor Robertson and his colleagues railed against what they referred to as a 'secretive' and 'backroom' NPA government.
So we at CityCaucus.com thought it was time to check in to see how many 'secret' in-camera meetings the new Vision Council was having compared to the previous NPA administration. We reviewed the minutes of the first three months of Sullivan's government (Dec 2005 - Feb 2006) compared to that of Robertson (Dec 2008 - Feb 2009).
We have confirmed with the City Clerk's Office that Robertson held (or is planning to hold) an astounding 11 in-camera meetings, compared to only 4 sessions for Sullivan's administration. That's works out to a 175% increase in the number of 'secret' in-camera meetings compared to the last administration. At this rate, we estimate Robertson will have held approximately 180 in-camera meetings before his term is out. As we say, so much for openness and transparency.
Normally the number of in-camera meetings held at Vancouver Council is not an issue. Nor would we make it one. However, the fact Robertson made so much of a stink about it last November, leaves him wide open to criticism regarding the amount of meetings he's holding behind closed doors.
Here is a complete list of 'secret' in-camera meetings held by Vision since they formed government last last year.
- December 8, 2008
- December 12, 2008
- December 16, 2008
- December 18, 2008
- January 12, 2009
- January 20, 2009
- January 22, 2009
- February 3, 2009
- February 5, 2009
- February 11, 2009
- February 17, 2009 (scheduled)
Now compare this to the previous NPA administration:
- December 13, 2005
- January 17, 2005
- January 31, 2006
- February 14, 2006
If you have a few hours, you can find a record of all the dates of in-camera meetings held in Vancouver by checking out the award-winning City of Vancouver website.