Provincial Municipal Relations Minister Barry Barnet has been asked to rule on the way in which the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) Council decided to forego a second vote on the issue of trucking garbage.
CUPE Local 759 wrote the minister responsible for municipal affairs, asking him to rule on whether council’s decision was in violation of the Municipal Act.
CUPE National Rep. Jacquie Bramwell says, "We believe that when a member of a municipal council changes their position on a vote, and asks for a motion of reconsideration, then council has an obligation to do so.
"The original vote of 9 to 8 in favour of trucking garbage to Guysborough County would have gone the other way with the one changed vote. In this case, not allowing a second vote to take place effectively thwarts the democratic process," Bramwell said.
CUPE is citing the decision a couple of years ago by CBRM Council to reconsider a vote on holding a Gay Pride march, which was reversed by council because a single councilor changed his vote.
In her letter to Barnet, Bramwell states, "If someone who voted in the affirmative wanted to bring a motion to reconsider, they have the right to do so. I don’t believe the Mayor handled the issue of reconsideration appropriately and I am therefore requesting an investigation be conducted by your office into what I see as irregularities in determining the issue of reconsideration.
"If there is a voting procedure contrary to this in the Municipal Act, please advise," states the letter.
For further information: Jacquie Bramwell, CUPE National Rep., 902-539-4933 or John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep., 902-455-4180.