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Powell River councillors recommended for meetings with Tla'amin

City committee of the whole recommends appointing three members for an intergovernmental working group
RECOMMENDS MEMBERS: City of Powell River councillor Trina Isakson brought a motion to the city’s committee of the whole meeting to establish an intergovernmental protocol working group with Tla’amin Nation.

City of Powell River Council will consider appointing three of its members to an intergovernmental protocol working group with Tla’amin Nation.

At the April 2 committee of the whole meeting, councillors discussed a motion to establish a working group that is intended to gather regularly with elected representatives of Tla’amin, with an initial purpose to develop terms of reference for such a working group, including working on recommendations to update the community accord protocols, to be brought back to council for deliberation and potential adoption.

Councillor Trina Isakson, who brought the motion before the committee, recommended she and councillors Earl Almeida and George Doubt be appointed to the proposed intergovernmental protocol working group.

“There are many reasons why we would be meeting about things in our C3 forums, but sometimes it is helpful to work things out in a small group, not to make decisions for council, but to work on things to bring back to our council,” said Isakson. “This is to reiterate that staff have working relationships, but at the political level, we also need to find a path forward.

“It’s very clear that the first job of a working group would be to first develop terms of reference to make it clear how those meetings operate, how they are communicated, and how they are held. The only thing this motion is specific about is working on recommendations to update the community accord protocols.”

Mayor Ron Woznow asked Isakson if she had any discussion with Tla’amin elected officials regarding the proposal.

Isakson said she had reached out to Tla’amin hegus John Hackett with a vague idea of what she thought could be possible, but he did not see her motion to the committee or the names she was proposing.

Woznow said with regard to respectful protocol, if it was known that hegus would be sitting on this committee if it went forward, then it would be appropriate for the mayor to also sit with the working group.

Councillor Jim Palm asked if the meetings would be open to the public.

Isakson said they are not meetings such as those defined under the Community Charter, so they do not need to be open.

Palm said if Hackett is on the committee, then Woznow should also be on the committee.

Councillor Cindy Elliott said the previous city and Tla’amin working group that was struck for the potential name change for the city was a good way to do hard work.

“Protocol-heavy formal meetings are not necessarily the best way to get the work done,” said Elliott. “We get to see everything we talk about [at the working group] come back to us and we can then deliberate through our formal process. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to carry out government.

“Working together is the point and having a working group does that.”

Isakson said regarding the prospect of hegus being on the committee, she did not know who Tla’amin would send. She said Woznow has an existing formal intergovernmental role that can be played out with Hackett and qathet Regional District chair Clay Brander.

Palm said he had a problem with the motion with the three names involved.

“We had no prior notice of the three names that are now mentioned in this motion,” said Palm. “I am not going to speak in favour of this motion, simply because I believe the mayor should be part of this.”

The committee voted in favour of sending the matter to city council, with Palm opposed.

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