McNeil Liberals reject more transparency for Halifax Water Commission meetings

November 03, 2016 at 3:40 pm

HALIFAX, NS – Today, the McNeil Liberals voted against greater transparency at the Halifax Regional Water Commission.

Progressive Conservative MLA and Municipal Affairs critic Karla MacFarlane proposed an amendment to a government bill before the Law Amendments Committee. This came after MacFarlane heard complaints from residents and businesses that Halifax Water has been secretive in how it conducts its business and determines rate hikes. Patricia Arab, Fairview-Clayton Park; Brendan Maguire, Halifax Atlantic; Joachim Stroink, Halifax Chebucto; and Derek Mombourquette, Sydney-Whitney Pier voted against the amendment.

The amendment proposed by MacFarlane would make the Halifax Water board meetings open to the public in an effort to provide more transparency regarding its operations. The board would be limited in what issues can prompt a closed,  in-camera session.

“Many residents and business owners are concerned over the secretive process Halifax Water uses to determine rate hikes,” said MacFarlane. “It’s disappointing to see HRM Liberal MLAs vote against an amendment that would provide greater transparency in how decisions are made by the utility”.