Quesnel City Council gave final adoption of a bylaw that prohibits any new shipping containers in residential areas but not without some final fireworks.
Councillor Ron Paull made a last ditch attempt to rescind final reading.
He also sent out an e-mail to the other Council members encouraging them to reconsider stating in it that he recently purchased a shipping container for his own property and that that is why he has been resistant to having this bylaw discussion.
That obviously didn’t sit well with Mayor Bob Simpson…
“I asked the council member to withdraw the e-mail and we would call it a day and the council member refused to withdraw the e-mail which i believe would have been the right thing to do.”
City Manager Byron Johnson noted that the e-mail violated Council’s Code of Conduct that states that all Council deliberations be done in open public meetings and that Paull, by stating that he purchased a shipping container prior to final reading, that he had a direct personal stake in the outcome of the bylaw.
Paull eventually did recuse himself…
“Because i recently purchased a Next Generation shipping container on my residential property and because it is perceived by some that i may therefore have a personal interest in this bylaw and because i did not wish my actions to be in any way seen by anyone to be interfering with due process, i will excuse myself from discussion and voting on the resolution before Council.”
As a result just Councillor Shushil Thapar voted against new bylaw and it passed.
Concerns for the safety of firefighters because of a lack of venting and knowing what was in them was the main reason behind the bylaw.
Fire Chief Sylvain Gauthier was in favour of the bylaw.
When asked about the possibility of regulating residential shiping continers, he noted that by law they were not allowed to go and do inspections on private property.