Action by council undermines trust
It is indeed a sad time for Mayor Sandra Masters, Regina city council and all citizens of the city.
Rather than focusing on important issues, some “complainants” have required the integrity commissioner to spend countless days and likely weeks reviewing whether a code of conduct has in some way been breached in the dispute with city manager Niki Anderson.
Now, this has been debated at council and will be debated again at executive committee. To what end? Let it go!
It is clear to anyone who believes in the democratic process that the city should have included funding to end homelessness in the proposed budget, so it could be debated at council during the discussion of the 2023 budget.
Instead it was buried — contrary to council's earlier specific direction in a motion that passed unanimously, that it be included. This conveniently avoided an awkward and difficult debate at council.
This undemocratic “sleight of hand” has done more to undermine the trust and confidence in city council than the court challenge of Coun. Andrew Stevens and Coun. Dan Leblanc (who served as his legal counsel) and a member of the public.
If councillors Stevens and Leblanc are required to apologize to the city manager for their court appeal, then another apology to her is also necessary.
This apology should come from those who instructed Anderson to ignore earlier council direction to include funding to solve homelessness in the city budget, thereby launching the entire debacle.
The integrity commissioner stated in Section 67 of her report: “Public trust can be eroded by how elected officials behave, speak, treat one another and other people, make decisions and also by the actions they fail to take. Public trust and confidence is impacted by far more than just dishonesty or impropriety.”
Yes, indeed! Council: please earn back the confidence of the public by ensuring there is open, transparent debate on all issues that affect the citizens of Regina. Please ensure democratic processes are always followed.
Lorraine Weidner, Regina