There was yelling and banging on the table as councillors argued their views on democracy in a marathon council meeting yesterday.
“A reduction in council representation is nothing but an assault on the democracy of all citizens of HRM, and it’s a situation that will cause hardship to all those who are at risk of having their voices heard the least,” said Coun. Jackie Barkhouse.
But Coun. Steve Streatch said council is too top-heavy and needs to change. Some districts have 13,000 people and others have 21,000.
“This is not an affront to democracy, it’s an opportunity to enhance democracy,” he said.
“The ability to make a decision is debilitated by the number of people in this room.”
Coun. Dawn Sloane said they need to fix how they govern first before changing their numbers.
Going down to 16 is “the disembowelment of democracy,” she said.