[quote=“chiefdave”]I guess we have differing opinions on the COI issue and how it relates to each councillors experience, many of the councillors were elected because of their areas of expertise.
joy, partially at least, was elected because she advocates on behalf of the working class(admittedly mostly fisherman) and environmental issues. She has plenty of experience in these issues and uses her voice, personal experience and professional experience to weigh in on these issues. I do not see any real personal benifit to Joy by talking about employment or environmental issues. I really think the COI issue is being used as a cop out, i think these certain councillors are more afraid of offending their employers rather than breaking the rules.
Maybe getting elected to city council should be these peoples full time job, instead of losing there expertise on certain issues.
In the end, as always, it the constituents who get it![/quote]
Yes, we hope that councillors bring some experience and perspective, but it becomes problematic when the issue on the table is one that their employer is paying them to work on and support. Unions can have positions on many public policy issues.
There is a line between advocating for employment and environmental issues, based on experience, and advocating for an employer’s position on specific employment and environmental issues. I expect that the fish union has had an official position on west coast oil tanker traffic for many years.
As for the other councillors being afraid to offend their employers, that illustrates the conflict. A councillor cannot be an effective representative of the city on an issue if they are influenced by fears of offending their employers.
When councillors Ashley and Gordon-Payne have left meetings the issues have not been particularly controversial from what I can recall. I doubt that they were afraid; they simply obeyed the rules in the Community Charter.
Another councillor who seems to push the rules is councillor Bedard, when Hecate Strait is on the agenda. She really should leave the meeting, because she has a conflicting duty.
Of course, one problem with this council is that they exclude the public from so many meetings that it is hard to know what positions individual councillors are taking.
I voted for councillor Thorkelson last time on the premise that she is a supporter of the working class and an environmentalist, and perhaps she is, but those issues don’t seem to come up much at council meetings, other than when she advocates for positions taken by the union; to whom she has a conflicting duty. She seems to be a one issue advocate, and otherwise go with the flow on a council that really needs some new ideas.
On the question of whether the council should provide some details about what topics are discussed in closed meetings, she supported councillor Ashley’s motion, along with councillors Garon and Kinney. My impression is that councillor Thorkelson has the swing vote on various issues but more often votes for the status quo than for change. I don’t know if I’ll vote for her next time.