Last November, I documented the unacceptably high number of closed-door (aka secretive) meetings held by this council since it took office. More than all of the past three councils combined. Back then I documented that by Oct. 2, 2017, council had held:
- 14 closed-door meetings about our airport
- 4 closed-door meetings about our hospital redevelopment
- 37 closed-door meetings about Collus-PowerStream (plus three potential that were vaguely identified in the agendas).
And in all that time, the number of comments or editorials in the local media about this abuse of power and egregious secrecy by our council: zero.
I thought I’d update readers on how many more of these secretive meetings have been held since Oct. 5, 2017. I have only included the airport and Collus (formerly Collus-PowerStream) sales because Saunderson and his Block accomplished their task by putting up enough roadblocks to the hospital’s redevelopment that it has been delayed by anywhere from three to ten more years (and under the current provincial government, it might be sunk entirely).
There were numerous other in camera meetings in the past ten months (e.g. three about the water over-billing) but I’m focused on just the soon-to-be-privatized assets: our airport and electricity utility.
March 26; June 25, 2018
Oct. 16, 23; Dec. 11 2017
Jan. 15, 29; Feb. 12, 26; Mar. 6; July 12 2018
That brings the total of closed-door meetings about selling our public assets to:
- Airport: 16
- Collus: 46 (plus three more possible events)
And in all that time, after all those secretive meetings, all those closed-door discussions with expensive sole-sourced lawyers and consultants, no one – not Brian Saunderson, not any of his Block puppets, nor anyone in the administration – who has come forward to tell us WHY they wanted to sell our publicly-owned assets. Or why they would not allow a single public meeting to allow residents to comment on those sales.
No one has made a business case for either sale, no one has documented for public reading the pros and cons of ownership versus privatization.
It’s all been done on a whim because, apparently, someone in the administration once told them towns shouldn’t own such assets and, with blind faith but not public engagement, they went ahead with the sales. Not once did they consider the effect of those sales on residents and local businesses.
Collingwood deserves better than this sort of deception and secrecy.