Good to Know Letters & Opinion

Two Rights CAN Fix a Wrong

Arrows pointing different directions for right and wrong
Written by Patti Foley

While it’s often said that two wrongs don’t make a right, I would argue that sometimes two rights can fix a wrong.

Caledon Mayor Annette Groves has an opportunity this evening, June 25th, to right a wrong. Her wrong.

On the evening of May 23rd at the public information session held in Bolton regarding the mayor’s 12 zoning bylaws to expedite 35,000 units (if you average 3 people per house that an estimated 105,000 additional people, more than doubling Caledon current population) Groves promised Caledon resident Debbe Crandall she would not hold the vote on the issue over the summer months.

Listening to the Town’s recording of the meeting on YouTube  at timestamp 1:39:10 to 1:40:17 you can hear Crandall ask her question and Groves answer it:

For that Debbe you have my commitment. It’s not going to be rushed through and I’m going to tell you that we often hear when we have public information meetings in July and August, people are on vacation, people are not even interested because they are busy in their backyards having barbecues. So, no. We won’t have a vote. We are going through our public sessions, and I think there’s lots of work to do here…”

Despite that commitment the matter is now coming to Council for vote at this evening’s 7:00PM meeting. In response to a question regarding the about-face from another Caledon news publication Groves pushed blame back onto staff saying:

I said not during the summer but staff are ready with the reports and they are wanting to [and] prepared to bring it forward, so they are going to bring it forward,” said Groves. “And I’m fine with that.”

Integrity matters. In fact it’s part of the Code of Conduct for Council members. (see screenshot below).

Proper planning matters. Because the residents have to live with, and pay for, the results.

So how can Groves right that wrong?

If she genuinely wants to keep her word to residents then at tonight’s meeting, she can announce something to this effect ‘Although staff have asked to bring this report forward, I made a commitment, verbally and on record, to my residents to not hold this vote over the summer months.  So right now, I am tabling a motion to defer this vote until fall. I am looking for a councillor to second my motion to defer. And I am asking that my entire Council support this motion so that I can live up to the commitment I made.’

The other situation that needs righting? Use the time between now and fall to have staff truly unbundle the 12 bylaws so that each can go through the complete planning process individually, including community input individually. Because, as they sit now as 12 bylaws to be voted on following the report, ignores the entire purpose of why residents asked for them to be unbundled. It is merely provided an opportunity to say ‘well, we did unbundle them” like ticking off a checkbox. The comprehensive and proper planning process that protects Caledon environmentally, financially, and in a multitude of other ways is swept aside.

And all for what? Or for whom?

 

Note: The Council meeting is 7:00pm this evening, June 25th, Town Hall in Caledon East. 

Screenshot below of a section of the Caledon Council Code of Conduct.

Screenshot of part of the Council Code of Conduct

A screenshot taken from the Council Code of Conduct

Read complete document regarding Caledon’s Code of Conduct here: https://www.caledon.ca/en/government/resources/Documents/council-town-administration/Code-of-Conduct-for-Members-of-Council-and-Designated-Boards—Corporate-Policy.pdf

 

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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