As suspected, the BHHJN's FOI request has revealed that there was no need for Hamilton & Morales's May 17 Direct Motion Without Notice – and that while the public, community partners, and many City Councillors were kept in the dark about the motion, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce was aware ahead of time, and City staff had already pre-written a letter of endorsement for the Chamber before the motion was presented to City Council.
The details and names revealed in the FOI add to our growing list of questions and concerns over what decisions are being made "behind the scenes" in the Mayor's Task Force, with no accountability, transparency, public scrutiny, or even knowledge of other Council members, it seems. These concerns began last month, when the Heritage Barrie report was referred to the Task Force (https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/council-follow-up-week-of-september-11-2023)., and nobody has since been able to account for what happened or will happen to that report. The Task Force's meetings are not published, nor are their Agendas or Minutes.
As Professor Emeritus Andrew Sancton is quoted in the Barrie Advance article, "It does sort of go against this notion that everything that happens in municipal council decision-making is big, clear, in public... People aren't getting a full, accurate picture of exactly what's going on."
'Very strange happenings': Emails reveal behind-the-scenes planning of Barrie's controversial homelessness proposal
City staff wrote chamber of commerce letter endorsing plan that triggered pushback from advocacy groups
Brett Glover, Barrie Advance
Read the full story at Simcoe.com: https://www.simcoe.com/news/very-strange-happenings-emails-reveal-behind-the-scenes-planning-of-barries-controversial-homelessness-proposal/article_c3410b6e-b446-59e1-a1b8-301c52cd89f8.html