Answers #1-8: Midland Election 2018

- council attendance remote participation alternate participation methods absenteeism democracy representation open government transparency participation

Answers #1-8

The Question

Are you prepared for remote participation in council meetings, including upgrading A/V equipment and applicable IT, and/or other means of ensure a councillor is able to fully participate when valid circumstances (and how would you define that?) dictate that they cannot attend the actual council meeting?

Carole McGinn (Nicols) – Wednesday, September 19th 2018

Yes, most certainly I do. We need to embrace accessibility and alternate means of attending. If a person is ill I would hope they would not attend. I hear we all agree on that. Other reasons that are most certainly acceptable are a. Funeral b. Birth c. Family member is ill and suitable care is not possible d. An event that is considered the duty to respond in another job ex. EMS (council is not considered full-time but can be by choice), e. wedding of family member f. Participation in an event that benefits the community at large in their capacity as councillor g. Mental health day. Most of those are singular events for most persons or considered temporary crisis. Life events happen that may cause any person regardless of position to have a transition in life. ex. New job position or training. We cannot expect anyone to put their financial health at risk and would as a community have to seek understanding and show compassion. They would have to communicate. Being a councillor is a gift you give with your vote.

Jonathan Reid – Friday, September 21st 2018

I am prepared for remote participation in council meetings, I define it as if you see my face on screen it means I’m ready and willing to participate.

Bill Gordon – Saturday, September 22nd 2018

Again, I have posted my position on this very early in my campaign (click here to read it) , and support remote participation and am not opposed to guidelines and limitations to avoid its abuse. I do believe that there is a responsibility to physically attend meetings and that remote participation is not entirely equal to a face-to-face. That being said, the policies and procedures to support remote participation are in place Provincially and Federally as well as in other neighbouring municipalities and we can model ours after those complete with lessons learned.

Answered on Bill Gordon’s Website: Q & A Time With Voters – Volume 2.

Cher Cunningham – Monday, September 24 2018

I would need more information about our budget and the requirements to make this happen. Is there an actual need here? Council meetings do not comprise the whole of council activity. I would want to ensure that a councillor absent due to valid circumstances had their viewpoint presented and defended at a meeting… especially if they are the sole advocate of said viewpoint. Else, the matter could need to be adjourned to a future meeting.

Stewart Strathearn – Monday, September 24 2018

Requested that due to time constraints that I point to his website: Elect Stewart Strathearn for Mayor — and noted that he asks constituents use a contact method listed on that site, or on the Town website, or otherwise public, to ask him the questions they have in person, if the website proves insufficient — after helping me with a council matter, and having a wide-ranging discussion.

Jonathan Main – Tuesday, September 25 2018

Did not answer.

Elliot Sheaves – Tuesday, September 25 2018

Prefers to answer questions in person due to the ways in which written answers can be taken the wrong way. He met with me in person and we had a very long and informative discussion. He also said he welcomes one-on-one with any constituent who would like to know what he thinks on any issue. He has also launched Vote Elliot Sheaves.

Candidates who have not (yet) responded

Notes on the Answers

Answers in ‘normal text’ are the candidate’s written response and are taken verbatim. I use italics for my words such as summaries of verbal responses and/or pointing to websites at the request of the candidate.