The headline in The Advertiser of this morning caught our restless eye. Is Democracy in peril? it asked. Not a letter to the editor protesting prorogation as we first thought, but a letter about ” recent attempts by a few Kings County council members to minimize citizen input at public hearings or participation meetings.” Goodness gracious, there too?
The letter writer, who lives in Greenwich, complains that Kings Co. citizens have been asked to keep their input to 5 minutes, that the council doesn’t want to hear from non-residents and written submissions aren’t read into the record. Councillor Chris Parker also would like to see speakers alternate between those for and against an issue and, according to the letter writer –
“Gloom and Doom” presentations, especially if they are regarding farmland losses and food security issues, are not encouraged at all.“
The lady from Greenwich isn’t considered a “town builder” we guess. But if she feels hard done by she should try Wolfville. Wolfville seems to be a leader in more than just banning smoking in cars with children and all things nuclear. It perhaps aims to be a leader in silencing tactics too.
We have all heard of the various moves made by Mayor and Council to muzzle our residents. Residents here have been asked, first to speak only a few minutes, then told they can’t ask questions at all only make statements. Some questions are called “uneducated, inappropriate and unfair.” Written submissions are never read. People who don’t have what the mayor thinks is a constructive attitude had better just sit down and keep their mouths shut while the councillors concur by saying nothing. Flyers posted at the post office with comments on town issues disappear. If you want municipal documents you have to go through the Freedom of Information Act and even then you may not get them and have to take the town to court.
Perhaps the folks who stood out on the Post Office lawn gathered recently protesting prorogation, calling it an affront to democracy, should look for dangers a little closer to home.