City of Powell River Council rescinds conflict policy

Committee members freer to express thoughts, says councillor

City of Powell River Council has repealed its conflict of interest policy for committee members so its new community finance advisory committee members can bring a variety of interests to the table.

At the April 2 city council meeting, councillor Maggie Hathaway said the policy to be repealed included members of the public who were appointed to committees.

article continues below

“In the report, it says that committee members were required to leave the meeting and not participate in discussions because they have a vested interest,” said Hathaway. “It appears to defeat the very purpose of why they were appointed to the committee.

“There are currently three select committees of council: the climate change mitigation and adaptation committee, emergency services facility select advisory committee and our newly formed community finance advisory committee. Council members are still covered by conflict under the provincial legislation. If we have a conflict, we must declare it but that won’t apply to members of the public appointed to these committees.”

Councillor George Doubt said this idea of dealing with the conflict of interest policy came as a result of discussion with mayor Dave Formosa, himself and staff regarding the community finance advisory committee. Doubt said if everyone was excluded from participating in the committee if they were dealing with things they had a personal interest in, they would be totally defeating the idea of the committee.

“The idea that the community finance advisory committee could get businesspeople, taxpayers and residents of the community to come in and talk to the city about what affects them personally, we need to have that input,” said Doubt. “We came up with the suggestion and discussed it at committee of the whole and other councillors thought we should perhaps widen this so that all the committees were affected in the same way.

“It frees up members who get appointed to these committees to voice their interests freely at a meeting, and council can make the tough decisions from that information, so I’m in favour of it.”

Councillor Rob Southcott said the recommendation is in the spirit of democracy and he supports the initiative wholeheartedly.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Powell River Peak welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus


Will you pay your property tax bill by the usual July 2 deadline?

or  view results

COVID-19 affects City of Powell River finances

Sign Up for our Newsletter!

Popular News

Community Events Calendar