Councillor’s mic cut off as debate over LRT inquiry turns heated

Mayor Jim Watson says he supported the choice to mute one in every of his council colleagues who disagreed Wednesday afternoon with how he was dealing with the debate over Ottawa’s problem-plagued gentle rail community.

The contentious second involving Coun. Diane Deans got here throughout a prolonged, heated debate over a potential judicial inquiry relating to the Confederation Line.

The line has been shut down since mid-September when a practice derailed close to Tremblay station, simply the most recent in a string of incidents going again to LRT’s launch in 2019.

Just a few weeks earlier, Coun. Catherine McKenney had drafted a movement calling for a judge-led inquiry, one that would conceivably look into the actions of the mayor and members of council.

As McKenney was discussing it Wednesday, Coun. Glen Gower introduced he had a alternative movement. Instead of a decide heading up the proceedings, they might be led by the town’s integrity commissioner, Nathalie Gougeon.

As council’s guidelines stipulate that alternative motions get handled first, that led to an outburst of anger from those that supported what McKenney had put ahead.

Deans argued that calling within the integrity commissioner could be a considerable change to McKenney’s proposal — too substantial, she mentioned, to be certain by the alternative movement guidelines, that are meant for minor tweaks.

But Watson mentioned he had dominated. After confusion from a number of councillors, Deans mentioned she had “every right” to ask for the town clerk to make clear whether or not Gower’s movement counted as a affordable substitution — at which level her sound out of the blue cut out.

“What a joke,” mentioned Coun. Shawn Menard, who’d earlier needed extra time to think about the brand new movement.

“Cutting women off, I love it,” mentioned McKenney, sarcastically.

After the change, a number of councillors switched to Twitter to specific their disillusionment.

‘Strong feelings’

In the top, council voted 14 to 9 in favour of Gower’s movement to have the auditor common examine the LRT. McKenney’s movement was by no means voted on.

After Wednesday’s assembly, Watson informed reporters it was his job to “maintain order” and ensure “that one person speaks at a time.”

Watson mentioned it was the deputy clerk who cut off the microphone, and he supported that.

“People have strong emotions on the best way to go and approach getting a remedy for the situation,” mentioned Watson.

“I’m very pleased that it was a good solid vote of confidence in our new auditor general.”

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