` Columbia Journal- LETTER CONNIE
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To the Editor

November 28, 2002

The decision to hold Vancouver's year 2002 City Council inaugural meeting at the Round House rather than within the symbolism of City Hall Chambers was made and acted upon by backroom boys (including Geoff Megs and Stephen Leary). Announcements were printed and out before the new COPE councillors caucused over it, or knew about it, let alone included input from the opposition.

The promise of a referendum on the Olympic Bid was cancelled before the new council was even sworn in. The decision to back down was not made in open debate by elected council representatives, but again behind a closed door. Was this to avoid public view of dissent within the caucus of the Coalition Of Progressive Electors (not Committee Of Progressive Electors), or was this to hide the fact the caucus was again not even included in the decision? The C.O.P.E. promise of a referendum on the Olympic Bid was a major issue during the election campaign clouding my clear NO at every all candidates meeting that I attended.

The power of an elected representative flows from the democratic vote casting of the people. At no time does an electorate choose to be governed by backroom officials behind closed doors. Nor does the power of the city lie in the mayor's office alone. Our new councillors owe us a duty to nip in the bud this circumvention of our power. With the tacit approval of MPs and MLAs, unelected, unaccountable, unrepresentative officials have been betraying the democratic rights of citizens at the federal and provincial levels of government for decades. We do not need this practice enshrined in our municipal level as well.

And where is the elected opposition on this issue of openness and authority?

Connie Fogal-Rankin

The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552 Fax: 604-267-3342
Web: www.columbiajournal.ca
E-mail: cjournal@axion.net