I heard yesterday that former city councillor Peter Kaufmann was a little perturbed about the city’s top-secret sewage treatment deal with Veolia. Turns out he is.
In short, he thinks councillors are getting "shanghaied."
"I have difficulty being told ‘trust us, and we’ll explain it to you later,’" said Kaufmann, who also ran for mayor twice. "We’re talking about the biggest expenditure I’ve seen in the city in my lifetime."
When Bill Norrie was mayor and council was nearly twice as big as it is now, every politician would gather in a meeting room at the convention centre for briefings from city staff on big issues.
That’s when councillors could ask tough questions and get all the facts, including confidential ones. He said there is no reason a similar process couldn’t be followed this time: get all the councillors in a room, show them the details and ensure they sign a confidentiality agreement and don’t leave with any documents.
If nothing else, then the public can be assured their elected representatives are making informed decisions.
"This is our city council. They are supposed to run the city," said Kaufmann.