How do motions occur at New Westminster city council?

New Westminster City Council sees clarity on how Council members bring motions for Council consideration.

Until the most recent election, the City Council had accepted motions from councilors without requiring them to first serve a “statement of motion.” This was a change from the previous practice, which required council members to submit a motion (unless an item was time sensitive and the council waived this requirement) and deal with it at a later meeting.

At Monday’s meeting, the council unanimously approved a motion by Council members Daniel Fontaine and Paul Minhas to have staff report on the application notification practice. Their motion states that there was an “apparent discrepancy” between the interpretation of the Statute and its application by the last Council.

The motion, discussed at the Jan. 30 meeting, urges staff to clarify the situation and determine what the correct procedure is. It also directs staff to report at the February 13 council meeting with recommendations for improving the city council’s bylaws to ensure it is no longer lacking in clarity and less open to interpretation.

“While this appears to be, and is, a very technical motion, it goes to the heart of our Bylaws and speaks to how we work in this Council and ensure that the rules set out in the Bylaws are respected and applied equally, not just during a council, but between and during councils,” Fontaine said. “As mentioned, over the past few months we’ve effectively changed the way we operate our procedures here.”

At the Nov. 28 council meeting, staffers said the city was returning to the previous process of requiring applications to be announced, a decision made during talks between staffers and Mayor Patrick Johnstone.

“I think, your admirer, you interpret the rules a little differently than your predecessor. And as I’ve noted in the council chambers, I support you in that,” Fontaine said Monday. “I believe that the Council should be given two weeks’ notice of any motion that is brought forward, to give the public a chance to know what is going on and to give the public a chance to speak out if they do.” to wish.”

Fontaine said he brought forward the motion after speaking to “independent legal advisers and parliamentarians” about the ambiguity in the city’s bylaws as to whether or not councilors are required to give a two-week notice when submitting motions.

“As the rules of procedure are currently designed, they can be interpreted in two ways. And when you’re talking to lawyers or parliamentarians, it’s best not to have laws that can easily be interpreted two different ways,” he said. “It should be a lot clearer.”

Fontaine has expressed concern that the previous council (at its July 11, 2022 meeting) considered a request to begin the process of updating the city’s logo and phasing out the use of the ‘Royal City’ nickname in its branding to let, although this was not the case previously mentioned.

“The public had absolutely no opportunity to see that, except for a few days over the weekend,” he said. (Back then, council agendas were published on Friday afternoons. Staff are now working to provide the majority of council agendas on Wednesdays before council meetings.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button