Terrace, B.C. city council wrong in holding meeting in private

No public debate about friendship agreement with Chinese city

TERRACE city council may be working hard to broaden the city’s economic base but it is hard to justify its decision to debate and accept in private what it is now calling a “friendly exchange agreement” with Qinhuangdao, China, the city in which is located the economic entity which now controls nearly 1,200 acres of the city’s Skeena Industrial Development Zone.

Council falls back on a section of the Community Charter by which its governed as the reason to debate and decide in private. That section allows closed sessions if there are matters “that, in the view of council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interest of the municipality if they were held in public.”

But there is nothing in the agreement which even hints at something so delicate that it needs discussing behind closed doors.

Any business dealings the city has at the industrial park which might require some confidentiality are between the development zone which controls the land and not the Qinghuangdao government.

Open debate and any resulting exchange of views and opinions is a hallmark of a western democracy. It is a principle that council had a chance to impress upon its overseas twin as to how things are done in Canada.

This may be a friendly agreement between council and its twin, but council’s secrecy is decidely unfriendly to its own citizens.

(Editorial, The Terrace Standard, Dec. 16, 2015)

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What is the future of transportation in Terrace?

Active transportation, transit, road networks to play a big part in the coming years

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Terrace firefighters heading south to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Nicole Halbauer seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Skeena riding

Halbauer is the current Chair of the Board of Directors at Coast Mountain College

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read