GlobalTV weighs in on secret GCAT meetings

Post by Mike Klassen in

4 comments


Ted Field gives his colourful take on the blue sky thinking behind GCAT - see video

CityCaucus.com wondered why our own "green shift" has been the stuff of secret meetings. Heck, even an American consultant was wooed up to Vancouver to see how great the findings of Mayor Robertson's YATF committee on green stuff. But where were you and I, the citizens of Vancouver who actually might have to do all the work to make Vancouver meet Gregor's goal of being G-R-E-E-N?

GlobalTV's Ted Field wondered that too, so he asked the Mayor, CityCaucus.com, Coun. Suzanne Anton, and a sampling of citizens how are we going to get greener? There are a lot of good ideas out there, apparently, not just those being thrown around a board room table behind closed doors at City Hall.

After seeing this piece we wonder what committee members will think of the Mayor dismissing ideas out of hand as mere "brainstorming" and not practical for Vancouver. Surely we should all hear these ideas, debate them publicly, before kiboshing them?

4 Comments

Oh Mike... I don't see what's so wrong about this. Always trying to catch Gregor and Vision doing something wrong eh?

Let them announce the final list of ideas when they are ready, and judge it at that time...

"let them announce the final list of ideas when they are ready..."

When does the public get to weigh in on this enviro discussion? I thought Vision said they wanted to change the way government was run, and they were going to have more citizen engagement?

Secondly, who will make the final decision as to what makes it on the "final list", and what gets cut?

Paul, no one is suggesting that this committee shouldn't run its course and explore any ideas, no matter how radical. However, unlike typical civic committees this body has a decidedly political bent...note the presence of Cadman, Reimer, Robertson and Magee in the minutes. There is no excuse for this body to be meeting behind closed doors and outside the view of the public. In fact, as a body devoted to a "radical shift" it should be as public as possible.

You may be comfortable with the secrecy and "back room" nature of this process, but those who know Vancouver City Hall appreciate that all volunteer agencies must abide by the principles of openness and transparency - with regularly posted minutes and open meetings. For more information on the long tradition of volunteer agencies in Vancouver, see the web pages at:

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/civicagencies/civicindex.htm

I used to live in California while working for a software firm. There, I discovered that there is a law that forbids any public body from having its elected officials have any secret meetings. I think it has an exception for employee disciplinary hearings, but it even applies to most staff issues. Even meetings of two elected officials are not allowed. I presume this law is on the books as a response to excessive secret deals. The operative theme of elected officials must be "the business of the public must be discussed in public".

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