Controversial dock bylaw tabled, now online
Updated: Aug 7, 2020
By Hunter Cresswell
Update: The dock bylaw appeared on the Chelsea municipal website on the afternoon of Aug. 6. To read it visit, https://bit.ly/2XFcO3r.
Original story posted Aug. 5:
The Chelsea council tabled the controversial draft bylaw governing docks along the Gatineau River at its Aug. 4 meeting, but the public still doesn’t know what it says.
Mayor Caryl Green previously told The Low Down that she “hoped” the draft bylaw would be tabled at the August meeting, and when later asked for an advanced copy of the legislation, Green told this reporter that it would be made public in the agenda, which is posted online a few days before the meeting. However, when the agenda was posted to the municipal website late last week — it made no mention of the draft bylaw. Rather, as the council adopted the agenda for the August meeting, Green announced that the draft dock bylaw had been added to the agenda.
“The [dock bylaw] committee that was working on the docks bylaw presented its recommendation to the council last week. There were comments from the council and the committee continued to work on the draft bylaw and it wasn’t on the agenda last week because we waited; the majority of council members said they wanted it brought forward in order to go to consultation. So it wasn’t in the [agenda] packet on the website, but it will be on the website as early as tomorrow morning or tomorrow through the day,” Green explained during the meeting.
Her explanation was in response to a question asked by Chelsea resident David Stockwell as to why the bylaw wasn’t on the original agenda.
Ward 5 councillor Jean-Paul Leduc later stated that he was still working to finalize the draft bylaw the day of the meeting.
“I feel like we didn’t have enough discussion on this [draft bylaw]. As it stands right now, the bylaw definitely doesn’t take into consideration 95 per cent of the people living in Chelsea, it only represents the five per cent of people that fortunately have the financial means to live by the river,” Ward 1 councillor Simon ; said during the meeting, continuing, “... I feel that the bylaw that is presented right now will be very difficult to change after it’s presented and unfortunately, again, the whole population will be paying for the three per cent of the richest [who] will benefit from this bylaw. It is absolutely unacceptable and I feel we had very little discussion on that … I feel strongly that we should not table this bylaw tonight.”
Leduc responded by saying that the issues Joubarne brought up had been addressed.
“I don’t think it’s normal to think that the members of council can read a document at 5 p.m. when the meeting is at 7 [p.m.],” Joubarne replied.
The draft bylaw was tabled, but is slated to go through a public consultation process before it comes back to the council for final adoption.
“If you’re doing a proper consultation, you will be listening and changing, so I don’t expect the policy to be the same right now that it will be at the end,” Leduc said.
After the tabling of the bylaw, Green concluded the conversation by saying, “As mentioned, the draft dylaw will be put on the website as early as possible.”
By Aug. 5 at 3:45 p.m. the bylaw still hadn’t been posted on the website, nor did Green or director general John-David McFaul respond to an emailed request from this reporter on the morning of Aug. 5 asking to be sent the draft bylaw.