Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Kudos to the following persons at last night's Woolwich Council Meeting: Mayor Todd Cowan, Township Clerk Christine Broughton, old CPAC member Ken Driedger. Ken was a registered delegate wishing to speak to the new Terms of Reference submitted by Staff the week before, to Woolwich Council. Ken's major concerns seemed to be Council's detailed and specific taking control of their committee of Council and their prohibition against routine or ongoing closed meetings. The first issue he felt was a reflection of Council not trusting the old CPAC. Although this motive was denied by Mayor Cowan nevertheless it is my submission that the new Council has every reason in the world to have exactly that opinion. The second issue for Ken is the one I wish to address more fully.

Both Mayor Cowan and Clerk Christine Broughton gave, in my opinion, a detailed explanation of the Municipal Act and how Woolwich Council are bound by it's specific provisions dealing with meetings of both Council and Committees of Council, such as CPAC. In a nutshell there are only a very few specific reasons why either Councils or Committees of Council can have closed meetings. They include dealing with financial issues, legal issues and employee issues whereby specific names of individuals would arise. Therefore it is very clear to me that the numerous times I publicly both verbally and in writing advised the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee that their ongoing private and closed meetings, including sub committee meetings, were improper, inappropriate and offensive greatly understated the reality. The reality is that the Chair and long time former Councillor Pat McLean's insistence on closed and private meetings was blatantly illegal. Either as a long time past Councillor she didn't know this which frankly is incredible or she intentionally has been breaking the Municipal Act for years. Either way the new Council clearly have done the right thing removing Pat from the CPAC Chair's position and expressly including this huge legal point into the Terms of Reference. This major revelation would not have been made public but for the concerns of the one old CPAC member, Ken Driedger, who has chosen to come forward in an honest and direct way asking for clarification and explanation. It is my hope that he has not been turned off by the very difficult and confrontational nature of this Committee and that he will let his Application to be a CPAC member stand.

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