Oshawa council held a special meeting Thursday to appoint an interim fire chief. But the hot topic of discussion ended up being about the private December meeting that the provinces ombudsman deemed illegal. Joe Scarpelli has the story.
Gord Vickers was upset when Oshawa council held a closed-door education and training session last December. He was upset once again Thursday when he didn’t hear an apology from Mayor John Henry after the ombudsman recently declared council’s private meeting illegal.
“We thought they were big enough to give a public apology and get this thing behind us. Obviously it’s not behind us so I guess the fight is still on.”
After council was adjourned Mayor Henry said he respects the decision of the ombudsman and understands that parts of the December 17th meeting should not have happened behind closed doors.
“If you’re looking for me to say I’m sorry on that part, I am. But on the parts that needed to be discussed in closed session, I still stand by that.”
The only formal apology came from Councillor Doug Sanders who at the time voted in favour of the private discussion.
“It was the right thing to do to apologize because sometimes we go into these meetings and we don’t know what we’re getting into until we get into them… and you get in there and there’s other things that are presented and you start to feel uncomfortable inside those meetings.”
Councillor Amy McQuaid-England was one of just two council members who voted against keeping last winter’s discussion from the public. She says she is proud of fellow councillor, Sanders.
“Doug Sanders did a very stand up thing today as a politician to stand up and say that he had made a mistake and that he apologized for it.”
The ombudsman gave council five recommendations. Mayor Henry says a letter will be sent back to the ombudsman explaining the changes that have been made.