An abuse of public trust

I’ve reviewed the webcast of the Monday, Feb. 3 North Saanich council meeting and the vote to prohibit Mr. Spring Harrison’s presentation. Councillor McMurphy noted our council has plunged to a new low in its relations with the community.

She, like many of us, can’t believe council would deny voice to a person or delegation wishing to present an opinion before council.

What made the performance so odious was the abuse of public trust. The trust that the community places in its elected officials presumes that they will act democratically to represent the whole community rather than one or two private interest groups.

A definition of oligarchy is “rule by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes.”

This very closely describes the outrageous behaviour of the council majority on Feb. 3. Councillor Browne’s claim that Mr. Harrison’s presentation would be an attempt to “pillory someone without giving them the chance for rebuttal” is false.

As Mayor Finall rightly responded, “this has nothing to do with personalities; it has to do with material [content].”

The unfortunate result of the 2011 election is a private interest council in a public interest municipality.   Citizens expect much better.

Jack Thornburgh

North Saanich



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