qathet Regional District is trying to help lay the groundwork for resumption of meetings between regional district, Tla’amin Nation and City of Powell River elected officials and senior staff.
At the May 24 regional board meeting, city director George Doubt made a motion that the regional board, in collaboration with Tla’amin and the city, reinstate community-to-community-to community (C3) forums.
Doubt said the motion was to extend an invitation to the other two governments to get together and find a way to resume C3 meetings. The sessions between the three governments have not been held since Tla’amin requested that meetings be held without the public or media in attendance.
Doubt said the intention of the discussion of the C3 issue at the May 3 committee of the whole meeting was to encourage discussion of the two local governments and Tla’amin to find a way to get the C3 meetings going again.
“I expect this would result in a discussion between the leaders of the boards, and probably the chief administrative officers, to talk about a way to go,” said Doubt. “The intention of this motion is to open the doors and invite the Tla’amin Nation and the city to participate in C3 forums, which I think is a good thing. Hopefully, everybody will find a way to do that.”
Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick moved an amendment to change the word “reinstate” to “support the reinstatement.” The amendment was carried.
Corporate officer Michelle Jones said the next host of the C3 meeting is Tla’amin and the nation had reached out for a meeting.
Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said the motion was to reinstate the C3.
“The issue at the heart is, how do we conduct our meetings?” asked Gisborne. “Regional districts and municipal councils operate under the Community Charter and there is a transparency requirement. We come together in the C3 to talk about issues that affect our community.
“Transparency is important for regional districts and municipal councils. My belief is we have a meeting, we have a record of it, and it’s held in public. If the assembly chooses, we go in camera, where we are bound by secrecy.”
Gisborne asked if the next meeting would be open to the public. Chief administrative officer Al Radke said the three governments will have to meet, and the first get together will probably not be open to the public. He said the invitation for the next C3 meeting was extended by Tla’amin’s executive council, and under Tla’amin bylaws, an executive council can only be entered by invitation.
The motion for resumption of C3 meetings carried unanimously.
The regional board then considered a second motion, that qRD write a letter to the minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation and the minister of municipal affairs, urging that they amend text in the Community Charter to enable local governments to have private forums with First Nations.
Gisborne moved an amendment that the words “private forums” be replaced with “closed meetings.” The amendment failed.
The board then voted on the second motion without the amendment and it carried, with Gisborne opposed.