I have remained somewhat silent on the issue of the Compliance Audit Committee events for the past several months.
I wanted to allow the process, as we currently have it laid out, to run it’s course.
Since late last week I have been asked by some council members, and many from the public, if council would be discussing this issue.
I attended the final meeting of that committee last Thursday, and now that this issue has come to an end I believe there are several items for us to consider as a council moving forward.
I reached out to the city clerk and he has indicated to me that the Province opened up consultation on the Municipal Elections Act for quite some time already this year. To comment on it any indivudual had to do so before the end of July.
The recommendations coming out of this provincial review will ultimately be brought forward through our city clerk to then be discussed with our Governance Committee and then with all of city council.
I look forward to discussing any of the proposed changes, and perhaps, (council willing), looking at sending to the province our collective voices on this matter.
In my humble opinion I think there are grave flaws within the act as it stands.
Third party advertising is one of them.
However, from what I witnessed at the meeting last week, it was quite evident that there was a great deal of frustration from the committee members on one specific issue more than any other.
That issue was the inability, through the current Act as it stands, to try and recoup costs for city taxpayers from people that ultimatley failed to expose what the original inquires of the election audit were intended for. Specifically, if other contraventions were found that were so minor that they don’t materially change the outcome of the financial returns.
Furthermore, with an internal lens on our own processes, I believe we need to do better on how we train and inform members of the committee on their role, on legal options and clarity surrounding the MEA.