Thursday, September 21, 2006

Democracy Still Under Attack in Montague Township

Further to the failed defamation lawsuit launched by the Council of the Township of Montague against Mr. Donald Page, which attracted national attention for its chilling effect on freedom of expression and democracy in Canada, Montague's Council continues to attack democracy.

From the minutes of a council meeting on July 4th, 2006:
Councillor Carroll also noted that personal issues concerning members of Council were being disseminated by members of the MRA and requested that these people stop.
In other words, nobody in the township should have access to, or the right to disseminate, any information about their elected councillors or the activities thereof?

And in a petty and vindictive move, the Council refused to offer the use of a community hall for an all-candidate's debate in the upcoming election - minutes from the August 1st, 2006 Council meeting:
b) Montague Ratepayers’ Association - Request to waive the fee for use of Rosedale Hall

MOVED BY: B. Eckersley RESOLUTION NO: 170-2006

SECONDED BY: L. Richards DATE: August 1st, 2006

That Council waive the rental fee on Rosedale Hall for the Montague Ratepayers Association, with respect to the all-candidates night they plan to hold on October 11th, 2006.

Let's put this in perspective. It's OK for the Council to waste $70,000 of the taxpayers money in a futile pursuit of one individual; it's not OK for them to spend $100 or so to enable those same taxpayers to question them?

The manner in which this township is run, and the behaviour of its elected Council is something that is deserving of greater exposure in the blogosphere and the media.

As an experiment in 'citizen journalism', The Doggerel Party will blog the entire municipal election campaign in this little backwater of Canada, starting when nominations close on September 29th.