Twitter/ Deanna Allain
Four young Hamiltonians say that they were turned away from a City of Hamilton committee meeting that would help decide a new city manager.
Eighteen-year-old Deanna Allain and three others arrived at White Oaks Resort and Spa in Niagara-On-The-Lake this morning where the meeting was taking place. They were immediately asked to leave.
“We walked through the main front doors and there was a manager waiting for us,” said the first-year political science student at McMaster University. “That gentleman informed us that we were not to be permitted into the building.”
Interviews were being held at the resort to hire a new city manager. That part of the meeting was in-camera, meaning it was taking place behind closed doors.
However, the meeting began and ended in open session, which is the part they should have been able to attend.
“It raises a lot of questions, especially a lot of concerns, about what kind of accountability, transparency and democratic practices they’re engaging with,” said Allain.
Allain and her friends traveled to Niagara-on-the-Lake using public transit and didn’t arrive until after the meeting was scheduled to start, despite taking the first available bus.
“To chose to have a meeting 66 km away from city hall itself, it really doesn’t make sense,” said Allain. “It calls a lot of questions into play about whether they were trying to hide something.”
A failure of good governance and public process. Until a meeting officially goes “in-camera”, it must indeed be accessible to the public. https://t.co/Dqhbh2f7Zs
— Nrinder Nann (@NrinderWard3) February 9, 2019
The meeting was initially scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., but was moved to 8:30 a.m.
CHCH reached out to a number of Hamilton city officials, including mayor Fred Eisenberger. No one was available to comment today.