One wonders why any council must meet in secret about a local business. In this case, a train for kids, taking them on a trip around the beach, and it's station. An iconic landmark on the beach.
They want it gone. The residents want it to stay.
Secrecy, opaque master plans and redaction of dialogue at our municipal level. It should never happen in a democracy but clearly big business is in the driver’s seat, even at this level. All they need are a willing partner to make it happen and an effort to shut out the locals.
Below is a delegation to the municipal council. Not only was the resident refused to present it, they also refuse to post it for the record so the public can see it. It goes against everything our council and our country should stand for. The people in the community should be heard and their information should be shared whether it is in line with council's visions or not. All council meetings should be on the record and in this day of modern technology, meetings no longer require all council being present in the same room. If council members are emailing about community issues then the emails should be posted on the council website for all citizens to view. That's the way a democracy works. They should be posted in full and not redacted (blacked out) when council doesn't want you to see something.
"...After all, the Public waterfront master plan meetings included the Train Station and the Train. The final map and document related to the Public meetings had eliminated the Train Station at the apparent behest of bureaucrats of the Town, not Citizens."
July 4, 2018
Please add the following Addendum  to my Delegation for July 9, 2018:
1. Council “meeting” is defined under the Municipal Act as follows
“meeting” means any regular, special or other meeting of a council, of a local board or of a committee of either of them, where,
(a) a quorum of members is present, and
(b) members discuss or otherwise deal with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council, local board or committee. (“réunion”) 2001, c. 25, s. 238 (1); 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 102 (1, 2); 2017, c. 10, Sched. 1, s. 25 (1).
2. When our council communicates by email it is a meeting.
3. When Citizens are not included and never informed about the communications in our council’s email threads, council appears to violate the Municipal Act.
4. In these email discussions, council materially advanced the business and the decision-making of the council related to the Train Station lease and fate of the Train. Council did so in a closed meeting unknown to Citizens and in apparent violation of the Municipal Act.
5. Our council failed to discuss these emails at their Public council meetings, further maintaining their secrecy in violation of every known Democratic principle.
6. With or without the Municipal Act, Citizens must have immediate access to these crucial email threads about the Train Station and Train. Democracy requires it.
7. Attached to this email are 4 of these emails. These emails were exposed to me through my Freedom of Information request [filed in September 2017], and not available to Citizens on the Town website, in apparent violation of the Municipal Act. What other emails are missing and not included in the FOI response by the Town?
[Having again reviewed the correspondence in this shameful Train Station saga, I would like to know if our cao has dictated to our mayor and our council that they should not ever send me a read receipt that you receive my emails. I ask for a read receipt and our mayor and each of our councilors do not appear to give me the courtesy. I just note that the correspondence from FOI confirms that council seeks advice from our cao regarding this very difficult and strategic task! Beyond the pale!]
8. A number of weeks ago I requested the Town of Saugeen Shores to un-redact the 3 pages of redactions in the July 24, 2017 email between our councilors and our cao about the Train, attached to this Addendum email. This July 24, 2017 redacted email had been provided to me pursuant to my Freedom of Information request made in September 2017. I was informed that the Town would get back to me the following day. Nothing! I requested again. Nothing! There was no reason to redact the email comments by our councilors. In light of the despicable destruction of Democracy by our mayor, our council, and our cao, Citizens require answers from them as to what they are hiding! And why won’t our Public Servants give simple every day courtesy to Citizens and just respond to our concerns! The only reasonable answer is that the redacted email must be very troubling about the future of our Train Station! That should never be kept from any Citizen! Shameful! The redactions should be un-redacted forthwith!
9. I have also attached 3 other emails between our council and our cao that are also very concerning. These attached emails expose our council’s and our cao’s absolute focus to proceed with their “vision” related to the waterfront master plan that does not include the present Train Station and Train in any respect whatsoever, in contravention of our mayor’s, our council’s, and our cao’s Public comments that have mislead Citizens. Particularly troubling is the missing email from our vice deputy mayor mysteriously left out of the July 31, 2017 email attached. What did that say? Clearly something about proceeding with the waterfront master plan without the Train. And when the emails between council discuss the Town’s “vision” and the Town’s “goals,” what specific “vision” and what specific “goals” is council referring to. After all, the Public waterfront master plan meetings included the Train Station and the Train. The final map and document related to the Public meetings had eliminated the Train Station at the apparent behest of bureaucrats of the Town, not Citizens. So the emails confirm each member of our council is “on the same page” when it comes to “vision” and “goals” for our World Famous Beach. The council secret code for “vision” and “goals” apparently equals eliminating the Train Station and Train, and adding alcohol and possibly condominiums or some other major business expansion. Citizens will never be privy to these secret closed meetings where the “vision” and “goals” for our Beach were debated. They certainly weren’t debated at any Public council meeting! Secrecy has become the hallmark of our council! Our council’s “vision” and “goals” for Democracy in our wonderful Town appear to be focused upon how to keep Citizens in the dark. [See also DGR process]. These hidden secret documents and redactions must be exposed to Citizens to hold our mayor, our councilors, and our cao accountable in this shameful chapter in the history of Democracy in our Town. These few examples attached hereto are merely the tip of the iceberg in this matter that deserves to be investigated through a Public Inquiry. And what happened in Halton Hills in 2015 that caused our cao to resign his position there as noted in the attached newspaper article?
10. Furthermore, “Freedom of Information” is an oxymoron. It is the furthest thing from “freedom.” All documents from our mayor, our council, and our cao should be automatically posted by the Town of Saugeen Shores for all Citizens “Freedom of Information,” and not hidden until, and if, a Citizen applies through some Act that our elected officials have concocted to protect them from being held accountable to the Citizens that elected them in the first place. And, in light of the detestable handling of this Train Station lease process by our mayor, our councilors, and our cao, what Citizen would ever trust our mayor, our council, and our cao to provide all of the documentation related to all communications related to the Train Station following an FOI request? And by what authority does our Town have to redact comments made by elected and unelected government Public Servants prior to Citizens reviewing them? 11. In light of all that has transpired in this shameful Train Station process, how can trust be restored in our mayor, our councilors, and our cao! When our government hides things from Citizens, and does not meaningfully include Citizens in the process, and does not respect Citizens, and destroys Democracy in the process, resigning appears to be the only remedy to restore integrity in our Free and Democratic Society! 12. And our mayor, each of our councilors, and our cao inexplicably continue to ignore and not respond in any way to my Delegation sent to them last week! The only reasonable explanation for such utter disrespect to a Citizen is that they obviously cannot respond, and, therefore, concede the points made in the Delegation! And why you may ask? Because they know that they do not have to respond and that they will suffer no adverse consequences as a result! That is what absolute power teaches you!
Most Respectfully, John Mann Saugeen Shores