Monday, April 16, 2012

The Death of a Citizen Group: Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) Killed: Citizen Expert Group Dissolved by Council

ImagineCalgary: Inclusive, Responsive, Transparent... and Deadly, at least for citizen, subject matter expert groups.

The Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) was created in December 1991, to:

Provide independent advice, which will assist The City of Calgary in providing leadership to conserve and protect the environment and enhance environmental management for the benefit of Calgarians and the regional community.

On 2012 February 27, Council disbanded the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC). Existing and former members of EAC may engage with The City of Calgary in the future through the Imagine CALGARY Partnership.

The last thing the EAC did, via a unanimously adopted motion made by Paul Hughes, was their most significant. The EAC created the Land Inventory Food Assessment, to be a partnership between the EAC & Office of Sustainability & the Food Policy Working Group (another presumably citizen led group, although hand picked by admin). The Office of Sustainability was to report to the EAC. 

Of course, Owen Tobert (Tubby Dogg, the extra "g" for Governor, pronounced Guv'ner) & Druh Farrell would have none of this. How dare an admin entity like the Office of Sustainability, sheltered and protected by Owen Tobert himself, have to answer to a citizen driven group. 

I was around for the final days of the EAC. Without hyperbole, it was a thousand times worse than Vietnam. Vicious attacks from admin, membership attacked by Druh Farrell and other  spineless aldermen in in-camera meetings, public attacks during Standing Policy Committee meetings by Druh Farrell, a backstabbing spree, a veritable clinic of Machiavellian politics... all directed at a volunteer and citizen led committee.

Volunteers, passionate, committed citizens. There's no room at the City of Calgary... sorry... "The Corporation", for those kinds of people... citizens.
EAC: Environmental Advisory Committee: Guidance for Calgary City Council 2010/2011