Proposed policy would limit council’s power

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Should Big Lakes County council have the right to re-open debate on previous decisions any time it chooses?

Apparently not, if CAO Jordan Panasiuk’s proposal passes.

Panasiuk is proposing in an amended Procedural Bylaw that motions to renew debate on a previous defeated motion shall be passed by two-thirds of attending councillors at the current meeting, and that the same topic can only be considered for renewal once.

Panasiuk’s proposal drew a quick response from two councillors.

“What happens [when] a new council comes in?” asked Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Donald Bissell at council’s July 22 meeting.

“I’d say no,” replied Panasiuk.

“But a new council, wouldn’t they have that right?” asked South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart.

“According to this bylaw, no. I would say no,” said Panasiuk.

“A new council should have the right to change it,” argued Bissell.

“Things do change in time, situations change,” he added.

North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Ken Matthews agreed.

“Things do change. Likely, over the years we’ve changed our minds on a number of things.”

Panasiuk then suggested perhaps once every term for each council.

Motions can be brought back; however, if new information or situations change.

Council gave first and second readings to the proposal, but a motion to proceed unanimously to third reading was opposed by Bissell. He was the only councillor to vote against the proposal.

Third reading may be passed at the next meeting.

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