As I enter my 25th year of attending Saanich council meetings, the 2018-2022 council holds the record for being inconsistent in regards to calling points of order.
For example, on Aug. 24 there were 18 members of the public that telephoned in on various agenda items. Mayor Fred Haynes interrupted eight speakers for infractions to the rules of order. However, neither Mayor Haynes nor any member of council called a point of order when Coun. Ned Taylor said “…I think the, uhm, the proposed EV infrastructure in this project is quite pathetic.” It should be noted that council removed the code of conduct from the Council Procedural Bylaw on Jan. 28, 2020. However, council is still governed by rules of the Community Charter.
Another incident at the same meeting warrants comment. Coun. Zac de Vries called a point of order twice on the CAO for interrupting him for allegedly going off topic, and by stating that “the CAO did not call “point of order.” What is most interesting, the manager of legislative services interrupted Mayor Haynes twice by saying “Mr. Mayor, sorry….” , and Coun. de Vries made no such call on that staff member. It should be noted that both the CAO and the manager of legislative services do consistently call “Mr. Mayor” and are recognized by the mayor.
I’m not saying points of order should not be called. I am just saying that points of order need to be consistently applied for good governance to take place.