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Letter: Port Moody staff must do a better job after public hearing is cancelled

The cancellation of last Tuesday's public hearing was the second this year, and the third in the past year
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A conceptual rendering of what the proposed redevelopment of Port Moody's Coronation Park neighbourhood might look like from Ioco Road.

The Editor:

Re: Port Moody suddenly cancels Coronation Park public hearing, citing notification error (April 5, 2022)

Have we reached a point in the day-to-day operations of city hall where it is left up to a citizen to make sure that city departments do their work correctly in line with the Local Government Act?

This week it happened yet again with the cancellation of the public hearing set for the proposed massive buildout of Coronation Park by Wesgroup.

For a third time in less than one year, the City had to cancel a public hearing at the very last minute after I alerted them that nearby residents in a new rental building had potentially not been notified as is mandated and carefully spelled out by the Local Government Act.

This latest postponement has triggered an internal-audit of City processes and has left countless residents on both sides of the issue feeling frustrated and discouraged by the delay.

I’m sure that members of Council, the public and myself want to see the planning department do better. We deserve better. This hearing deserves to have maximum public turnout and I hope this delay will not diminish engagement due to people having to-reschedule because of this confusion and inconvenience.

Public hearings are a crucial part of the process as they provide information that helps Council make informed decisions about their community’s future. This is why it is imperative for the City’s staff to get it right.  Residents set time aside from their busy lives to be able to speak at a public hearing so its rescheduling could potentially affect public participation.

As an engaged resident, I have found myself devoting much of my personal time to monitoring various City issues over the years but it is the City’s responsibility to ensure that comprehensive checks and balances are in place so that errors such as the cancellation of a public hearing do not ever occur again. This responsibility should not fall on a resident such as myself.

While I’m still determined to help, my time has value too and I hope, moving forward, that staff can and will do better.

- Patricia Bryant Mace, Port Moody

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