The Muting of Democracy in Richmond Hill

Chair or Dictator? You decide!

Deputy Mayor/Regional Councillor Carmine Perrelli chaired the recent Richmond Hill Council Meeting. This was the first time that he chaired and what an egregious performance it was!

Council passed a fair number of motions but Councillor David West seemed to have a target on his back and was prevented from speaking by Chair Perrelli a number of times.

Take a listen to this first clip. Councillor West wanted to add an amendment to the Single Use Plastics motion asking Staff to report back on this initiative (f).

In response to this amendment Councillor Beros felt it necessary to denigrate Councillor West and said it was “a bit of slap in the face to staff” and “a bit of insult”. Chair Perrelli agreed and said it was "offensive to our staff" and would not allow the amendment or Councillor West's point of order. Chair Perrelli refused to address the point of order and continued to talk about his thoughts even though as chair he is required to address the point of order immediately per the Procedures of Council (Procedure By-Law 5.7.8b).

Perrelli then would not allow Councillor West to defend himself and appeared to mute West's microphone as he was trying to speak. Since when is asking staff for a report back considered offensive and a slap in the face? (reference: Video Council Meeting Nov 25 at timestamp 39:57)

In this next clip Councillor West asked for a second round of comments when members were debating the Recycling at Super Mailboxes motion.

Chair Perrelli refused the request for a second round and when West questioned his decision Perrelli threatened to eject him from the meeting and subsequently muted West's microphone. It is well within a council members right to ask for a second round of comments and certainly not a valid reason for ejection or for being muted by the Chair. (reference: Video Council Meeting Nov 25 at timestamp 1:17:10)

By muting an elected official, Chair Perrelli is also muting the voice and rights of Richmond Hill residents! It is undemocratic!

The wielding of the mute button by Chair Perrelli to punish Councillor West during a council meeting is undemocratic. This would not have happened in an in-person council meeting and certainly should not happened during an electronic council meeting.

This meeting was a well orchestrated lesson on dictatorship one that CAG hopes will never be repeated as it's not in the best interest of Richmond Hill or it's residents.

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