After dragging its feet for over a decade Aurora has finally adopted a policy to record its closed door meetings.
In 2015 Niagara Falls joined several other Niagara municipalities who already record closed-door sessions. This piece states those municipalities include Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and Welland.
That same year in Aurora the majority of council including Mayor Geoff La-de-Dawe and Clr. Humfreys voted against recording. Clrs Mrakas, Thompson and Gaertner voted in favour.
This 2013 Auroran piece provided more detail, particularly this nugget:
When the motion was discussed initially, there were arguments around the table, including Councillor John Gallo, two of the sitting Councillors along with Wendy Gaertner who were in the room during the controversial closed session meeting in September 2010, that an audio recording of the meeting would have cleared up any questions of what transpired that night.
Buy it sure would have, and proof that not only audio recordings are necessary but that they are useful beyond a short finite duration.
Although council finally voted in favour of recordings this year strangely not all members of council agree with how long they should be held, as outlined in this November 27th Auroran piece.
You can watch the November 17th General Committee meeting here, it starts at 1:21:59
Clr. Gilliland, whose professional background is shown on Linked-In to be a former yearbook salesperson, comes out of left field wanting to impose limits on audio recordings as though they are her personal income tax records objecting to these records being kept in perpetuity.
Why exactly is not clear as she trots out the phrase “Cancel Culture” failing to provide any context as to how that would apply in this setting.
As to how these records will be deciphered in the future is of no concern for members of this council. The town has a clerk, a legal department and a Museum & Archives that can all be evoked if need be.
Just because a former yearbook salesperson don’t see a reason for maintaining these records doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Case and point the SLAPP lawsuit referenced above.
Obviously the irony of complaining about cancel culture by advocating to cancel records is lost on her and she should be more concerned about what she says in public meetings than closed door ones.
As for Cancel culture we can only hope during future elections Clr. Gilliland experiences it first hand. I’m sure she can land on her feet returning to her strengths selling yearbooks and fridges.