Nanaimo: BC’s First Municipal Conglomerate?

Ron Bolin: June 1, 2011

In what is apparently one of the hottest new moves toward privatizing the public’s business, Nanaimo’s City Council on Monday approved the Articles of Incorporation of Nanaimo’s new Economic Development Corporation.

During the question period at that meeting, as the subject had not come up in Council’s discussion, I asked whether citizens would,  barring in-camera sessions, be welcome at the meetings of the Corporation which they are funding. I was informed that this would be the case.  Today I received an email from the City informing me that that response was in error and that citizen attendance at the meetings of the corporation, the operations of which they are funding and to which they will be providing up to $5 million in loan guarantees, will be at the discretion of the officers of the new corporation.   Whether the dates and times of these meetings will even be made public remains unknown.

Thus will the public’s money be transacted in darkness and we who pay the bills will be left with the incestuous relationship between Staff and Council (the Municipal Corporation) and its creature (the Economic Development Corporation), to depend on the kindness of civic strangers.

Add to this the turnover of the booking of Diana Krall Plaza and our $250,000 screen to the DNBA and we are on the forefront of the movement to reduce the public in the public service.  Having found that our Economic Development is best handled by a corporation, what is holding us back from corporatizing our other civic functions?  What about an Engineering Corporation?; a Water Corporation?; a Planning Corporation?; a Parks and Recreation Corporation?; a Finance Corporation?; a Human Resource Corporation?  Nanaimo could become BC’s first Municipal Conglomerate.  Why not?

Where is our Core Review?

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“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  anon

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