Concerns about parking, a lack of walk-in health clinics, treacherous potholes / sidewalks, multi-use trails and bike lanes, a lack of neighbourhood-oriented focus by the city, and concern about private / secret contracts with nursing homes are just a few of the issues that have been raised at community gatherings hosted by Green Party Leader and Fredericton South MLA David Coon since taking office in 2014.
Three Fredericton City Councillors attended David’s latest community gatherings on April 14th, 28th and May 12th. They provided an open forum where community members were encouraged to participate in conversations regarding issues that mattered most to them.
A topic that dominated the conversation at each of these events was the looming closure of the Sir Max Aitken Pool on the University of New Brunswick campus. More than 30 individuals stepped forward to speak about the significant role the pool played in their lives, as well as the lives of their children who were at the meetings proudly wearing their vibrant blue “Let’s Pool Together” t-shirts. The decision to close the pool has since been reversed after a pivotal vote by City Council.
“These gatherings help guide my choice of questions for Question Period,” David said. “Not to mention helping shape the issues, bills and policy proposals that I champion in the Legislature.”
The format of the latest community gatherings gave participants an opportunity to speak for around 2 minutes on any subject they wished. This was followed by a 1-2 minute slot where hosts, as well as fellow community members, could respond. Those who wanted to speak just wrote their names on a chart kept at the front of the venue, along with the topic they would like to talk about. This structured approach to discussion allows for a variety of topics to be covered, while also ensuring everybody has an equal chance to be heard.
Another notable topic brought forward by community members was Brendan Brewer’s denied application for the opening of a Mixed Martial Arts Centre on the grounds of the NBEX. Unfortunately, due to legal action by NBEX against the City of Fredericton, City Councillor John MacDermid was unable to speak about the issue publicly.
Complete reports will be posted at davidcoonmla.ca, stay tuned.