A bit of dog’s breakfast, humble pie and parliamentary behavour.
On Friday September 18, I wrote about Councillor Anton’s motion with regard to HST and landlords. Among the questions I asked was who is going to second the motion? As Councillor Anton is the sole Non Partisan Association Party councillor left she would need to work out a deal to have an councillor from Vision or Cope to second the motion to start the debate.
I was able to make it up the Council Chambers, after dropping of kids at in-laws and Arts Umbrella for dance and madly riding the tandem up Cambie Street without my stoker, to see what would happen with Anton’s motion. Luckily the motion was last on the agenda and it turned out to be an early evening of procedures from the Roberts Rules playbook. When most people go to City Hall they hate this stuff, it seems so petty and argumentative, but really is quite interesting to see how this parliamentary process plays out. Important too, as this is how we make decision in our democracy.
Here is how it went: Councillor Jang seconded Anton’s motion and she gave a brief intro to the motion as to its intentvideo clip of intro. You can check out my September 18 entry for the content of the motion and the link to it. Basically it was a motion to exempt landlords from having to pay HST. But after she gave her intro to the motion, Councillor Cadman was first on the speakers list and he moved a motion to “strike and replace” and then moved his own motionvideo clip of Cadman’s motion (I don’t have a digital version of the motion, but when the City Clerks post the minutes of the meeting I will post the link). The general intent of Cadman’s motion was much more broad than Anton’s and basically asks the Provincial Government to abandon the HST.
Which to my way of thinking was more to the point. Why should the City be advocating for one industry, i.e. rental building owners and operators, when the HST really adversely affect a lot of different folk, i.e. lower income folks disproportionately.
Councilor Anton stood on a “point of order” and asked the Mayor to rule Cadman’s motion “out of order”, as the intent of his motion was very different from hers. Then the Mayor took a good time to consider the question and proposed a compromise of combining the two motions. I think he got some advise from one of the clerks that this was not going to work and then he ruled that Cadman’s motion was “germaine” and he allowed the motion and started a speaker list on the amendment to strike and replace with the more broader motion.