Scanned, recopied or Internet copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Opening comments: More at the end.
To the Public Question Period Index page.
Comments by others to this web-page 1.
Mississauga News - Aug 11, 2009 - Letter by Larry Taylor, Barrie.
Dear Editor: Re: Public question period
This past week witnessed the death of democracy in municipal government in Mississauga. While many mistake the move by City Council as the beginning of the end of the democratic process in Mississauga, I suggest it’s the final act of crushing free expression and democracy.
Since the first meeting of the City of Mississauga in 1974, residents have been invited to stand before Council on “any matter” that concerns them, without filtering by politicians or staff. Over the years, especially through debates on the Official Plan and release of large chunks of land for development, members of the public have taken previous councils to task. Sometimes it was viewed as a waste of valuable time. On other occasions, as when the mayor was charged with conflict of interest (later proven in court to be factual), it was seen as interference of the mayor and Council’s right to do whatever it pleased regardless of propriety.
Yet through all these years no council ever dared to attempt to deny residents the right to address their elected officials at any regular council meeting.
Over the past two decades, those of us who care about the City have been concerned about the dismemberment of democracy within the working of council. Ratepayers groups, once nurtured by the City, were largely allowed to fall inactive.
As Council gradually established its pay scale as the highest in Canada, it found that staying under the radar, meant there was less chance voters would care or become agitated about what was going on at Council.
Election after election, residents were refused any picture of the goals or objectives of any new administration. Councillors, fat with election war chests largely from developers’ donations, were able to avoid setting any public goals that might be challenged by opponents at election time.
So when residents who were increasingly upset about Council decisions began using the forum set aside for that very purpose, Council had to fight back. After all, there is an election next year!
So the legacy of this Council and this mayor is to close the final opportunity for dissent and discussion at Council. After all, they, and only they, have a right of opinion in Mississauga — not immigrants, not supporters of political parties, not ratepayers or anyone outside the ranks of position and power shall be allowed to address this heavenly body.
Comments by others, 1, to this web-page;
The Mississauga Muse Aug 11, 2009 11:46 PM
Thank you to former Mississauga Councillor Larry Taylor
Mr. Taylor wrote, "As Council gradually established its pay scale as the highest in Canada, it found that staying under the radar, meant there was less chance voters would care or become agitated about what was going on at Council." [Freedom of Information confirms this is how City Staff operate as well]. Mr. Taylor continues, "Election after election, residents were refused any picture of the goals or objectives of any new administration." [Freedom of Information and videotaping General Committee and Council meetings confirm that "Public Input" meetings are illusion. Orchestrated events --little more than Mississauga Inc kiss-up and suck-ups. How can citizens have input when they’re snowed with a "Trust, Quality, Excellence" that Freedom of Information confirms isn’t? re: this Sham and Shameful “Democracy”. Weirdest thing of all is how SO FEW ever question how any “free-world” Mayor could stay in power longer than Fidel Castro was President of Cuba!
* Agree 2
Home Page - Main Table of Contents - Back up a page - Back to Top
[COMMENTS BY DON B. - ]