The new Gibsons council amended its administrative bylaw to remove the inquiries portion of Town council meetings. Essentially, we the taxpayers and residents no longer have the right to pose questions to our councillors or mayor in that public meeting. This change puts a jackboot onto the neck of democracy and I for one want the decision reversed.
At the Jan. 17 council meeting, a group of 15 or so residents stood up at the commencement of the meeting in silent protest, wearing masks with X’s across the mouth and showing councillors the signs that were created to convey the point that the elimination of Inquiries is un-democratic. The idea that dialogues should replace inquiries isn’t well founded. Dialogues will be on specific subjects chosen by council and aren’t timely. They deal with broad issues and aren’t an adequate substitute for the immediacy of questioning a councillor about a specific item on the night’s agenda. Only an inquiry segment serves that purpose.
Bravo to those who stood up for democracy. Millions of people around the world risk their lives to protest for the right to speak their minds. In Gibsons, we have had that right taken away and there appears to be limited reaction from the villagers. I’m reminded of the frog in a pot of cold water never realizing the water is being slowly heated until too late. We noticed. Let the silent, respectful protests continue until this affront to democracy is reversed. To do anything less is to dishonour those who gave their lives so we could enjoy this right. Show up at council meetings and stand up. Let our council know we want this right restored immediately. Call, write, protest and demand our rights be restored.
William Baker, Gibsons