Comment 33902

By Bob Bratina (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2009 at 14:47:03

I am not satisfied that the advice we received from staff was clear and unequivocal. The suggestion was that the list of 6 projects had to be voted upon as a block, and that any delay, even if the list was submitted prior to the September 30th Provincial deadline, might jeopardize their approval. Although this may be true, I find it hard to believe and would have appreciated the opportunity to ask the Province how their policy is implemented. What is Council's role if, as we are told, the projects must be approved or rejected as a group, and in the order of the staff rating? Why then is this not simply sent directly to the Province without Council direction? In my opinion the staff rating should not necessarily guide Council's own priorities. Perhaps affordable housing in a vacant core hotel is not as important as a residential facility for people suffering from mental illness. In any case, either we are empowered with decision making or we're not, and if not, why did it come before us? Furthermore, I asked staff shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Council night whether we would receive any more information regarding the Connaught, and the answer was no. We later learned that the City Solicitor learned that very morning about the lawsuit involving a member of the Connaught consortium. We were told when I raised the question that the Solicitor had not recalled the lawsuit until a member of the legal staff advised him that we may "have a problem", having seen the name of the litigant in a Spectator story that morning. Apparently we should not be apprised of this unless we ask. Had we known none of this, and unanimously passed the recommendation, would there not be a rightful public outcry if some time later these facts came out?

Respectfully, I feel that this matter has raised serious questions which require answers, to assure the public of the integrity of our processes.
Bob Bratina.

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