Councillor Explains Voting Against Heritage Bylaw Change For Irving Oil HQ

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2016 17:48 PM

Only one Saint John councillor voted against giving preliminary approval to the heritage bylaw amendment for the Irving Oil headquarters project at a special council meeting which included a public hearing.

Mayor Mel Norton stopped almost every speaker both for and against to tell them their comments must be related to an amendment. The only speaker who was not interrupted was Jeff Matthews speaking on behalf of Irving Oil for only about 15 seconds to state the company's support for the bylaw amendment.

Councillor Donna Reardon says she didn't think there was a fair process at the meeting for people to say what they wanted to say.

"I didn't like the control of information that was allowed last night in council chambers," said Reardon, "and for that reason I just thought this process isn't happening the way I thought it was going to happen. It was the process, I voted against it for the process."

The votes for both first and second readings of the bylaw amendment were 8-1 with Reardon voting no.

The amendment is coming up for third and final reading at the last ever meeting of this council on May 2.