CFN – Mayor John Henry of Oshawa Ontario sent us a statement for publication after the incident in his council last week that resulted in several members of the public being hauled away by police. LINK
The beginning of each Council meeting begins with the following preamble, which provides members of the audience with the expected level of behavior while in Council Chambers.
“Welcome everyone, to this meeting of City Council. I would like to advise that during these meetings we have a certain level of decorum which is to be maintained and rules which are to be followed. Please be advised that anyone who is disruptive to the meeting can consider this their one and only warning and if their disruption continues, they will be asked to leave.”
Council Chambers is a place where citizens of all ages of the community can come forth to present and listen to matters of council. During the Council meeting on September 3, five members of the public were given the opportunity to present their opinions related to the George Rust-D’Eye report. A member of the public became disruptive and therefore, as head of council, I asked and gave notice to the member that they were receiving their one and only warning and if their disruption continued, they would be asked to leave.
When the member of the public continued to be a disruption, I asked that he remove himself from Council Chambers. The Municipal Act provides the head of council the ability “ to expel any person for improper conduct at a meeting.”
I provided the person an opportunity to take responsibility for his actions. He chose not to leave when requested and therefore a security officer was asked to escort him out of council Chambers.
Individuals must take responsibility for their own decision on how they leave council.
Mayor John Henry
We sent the mayor some follow up questions and will update if they ever are answered.