The openness of Fort St. John’s mayor and council became the subject of debate at last night’s All Candidates’ Forum at the Northern Grand Hotel. After an audience member praised the transparency of the current mayor and council, mayoral candidate Bruce Lantz questioned the purpose of the council’s closed meetings, in which proceedings are kept from the public.
Incumbent Councillor Dan Davies defended the council’s use of the in-camera (closed) meetings, saying that certain matters are required by law to be settled behind closed doors.
Don Irwin, who is also seeking reelection, says open houses and council meetings have been key in council’s success, but face-to-face contact with residents is important as well.
Newcomer council candidate Josh Wilson praised the openness and transparency shown by all the other candidates, but suggested that the current mayor and council could be more aggressive in their advertising of open houses and public meetings.
Last night’s forum marked the second this week for the candidates, who also participated in a forum Monday afternoon at the Seniors’ Hall.