Actions speak louder than words
We get several emails a day asking who voted against the glass plant. Here’s our answer:
The important thing to remember is that NOBODY on Council voted against the factory. At least not in public, and if it was voted on in secret “in-camera” meetings, that’s illegal.
We were presented in October 2020 with a deal that was complete, except for an auxiliary proposal on servicing the plant. Council held a public meeting, presenting the deal, expecting to vote on the servicing proposal the following week. This was the final step in completing the agreement.
The roar of disapproval they received from the citizens of Stratford made Council decide to postpone the vote. Then they cancelled a meeting. In December, they postponed again. By the time they got around to voting on the servicing agreement (the only PUBLIC vote) in early 2021, we had already embarrassed Xinyi so badly that they were gone.
It was the citizens of Stratford who stopped the gas plant deal.
Some councillors indicate that they were against Xinyi. However, as work on this deal was all done in secret, in-camera meetings, we don’t really know. There were no councillors who spoke out against voting in camera. There were no whistleblowers.
Get Concerned Stratford has been working continuously for two years to show what went on, in order to help reform Council and ensure it operates openly and fairly. You can learn all about how hard that has been in this post.
NEW: In December of 2021 we asked the Closed Meetings Investigator to look into the problems of inappropriate use of in-camera (secret) meetings. He has made 146 investigations, and one member of our group has seen the results. We can’t talk about it until the report is officially released.
The draft report was completed in early September, and was given to the City Cerk for final review, with a deadline of September 16. Instead of expediting the review to make sure that the results could be available for the beginning of voting, the City delayed. Although the report has now been returned to the Investigator, we are unsure of the date of its release.
We think you should know what’s in this report before you vote.
If you are as concerned as we are by the state of our municipal government, please have a look at our candidate pledge. We’ve done a lot of research on it, and we created a short list of actions that we think will help heal the mistrust that has sprung up since Xinyi. Some of these actions are already part of our city code. Others are just plain common sense.
If a candidate you wish to support has signed the pledge, discuss it with them. Use the pledge to make sure you are in agreement with their values. If your chosen candidate has not signed the pledge, ask them why not. Dialogue is the best path to a more informed and democratic council.