White Rock council plans to end ‘no value’ question period

Councillors and mayor set to vote next month on bylaw amendment

Question period may be a thing of the past at White Rock council meetings.

Elected officials will vote next month on a bylaw amendment to remove question period.

The city’s governance and legislation committee voted unanimously on Monday to bring forward the discussion to remove the item from the agenda, saying the question period was of “no value” to the public and council.

During question period, residents are able to publicly question councillors and the mayor at the end of each council meeting.

“Having gone through one term now and seeing it in operation, it really is a non-event. There are three people, no more than that, who have ever made use of it,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said. “Consequently, this does not seem to be of any value.”

Baldwin noted that anyone who wishes to ask council questions is able to meet after the meetings, appear as a delegation and send emails or letters.

“There is plenty of opportunities for the public to engage in council, so to have a question period that is really ineffective, it doesn’t seem to be doing much,” he said.

Couns. Megan Knight and Lynne Sinclair agreed, with Knight noting that elected officials from other B.C. communities had told her, during a recent seminar she attended, that they have also dispensed with a question period.

Sinclair added that the question period “serves no purpose”:

“In today’s world, there are so many ways to get your questions answered – and answered in a much more concise fashion – than at the end of a long council meeting.”



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