'I'm disappointed': Fredericton city councillors approve all-male committee
2 city councillors voted against the proposal, while 7 were for it
Fredericton city council has approved a list of five male-nominees for a land development committee after the proposal was voted down two weeks ago because of concerns over diversity.
"I was very disappointed," said Coun. Kate Rogers, after Monday night's city council meeting.
"These committees need to be ratified by council, and where they weren't ratified two weeks ago, I expected other suggestions to be brought to us."
Rogers raised her concerns about the lack of gender diversity from the city's nominations at a council meeting on July 8, when the list of nominees was originally brought before council.
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"I went public and implored the public to help me amplify this," she said.
"I know from the number of emails that we've received, that the public did respond. And they did reach out to their councillors. And they did tell them how important this issue is to them."
We could've delayed a bit longer, but people had been identified and identified publicly. So for the process, council thought it was best to just continue.- Mayor Mike O'Brien
Coun. Bruce Grandy and Kate Rogers voted against the list of nominees.
But Coun. Eric Price, Mark Peters, Steven Chase, Henri Mallet, Steven Hicks, Kevin Darrah and Eric Megarity voted to approve the list.
"The fact that my colleagues have chosen not to respond to that, and to proceed with business as usual, I find that very disappointing, very discouraging," she said.
The five city representatives will work alongside five appointees from The New Brunswick Provincial Exhibition, which put forward two women representatives. They will discuss future development on the exhibition grounds on Smythe Street.
Meanwhile, Shawn Bilerman, Trevor Hanson, Jeff Trail, Coun. Eric Price and Deputy Mayor Steven Hicks make up the city's five representatives.
Rogers, who originally asked to be on the committee, called out Mayor Mike O'Brien for not doing enough to have more female representation.
"I'm disappointed the council members that you chose did not have female representation. I think that is something you could've done in your position," Rogers told Mayor O'Brien.
After the council meeting, O'Brien said the names had already been made public.
"We could've delayed a bit longer, but people had been identified and identified publicly," O'Brien said. "So for the process, council thought it was best to just continue."
City has to do better
O'Brien said the city needs to make a procedural change to how it appoints its committees, but he isn't sure what that will look like.
"I'm hoping that sometime within the next couple months we can bring something back to council, like a process. Like how do we correct this? How do we go forward?" said O'Brien.
But Rogers said she's heard this before during her seven years on council.
"I've just heard it so many times and we've never done better," said Rogers.
"Now, perhaps because there has been a public outcry over this, perhaps some will feel pressured to do something. And the mayor is making a commitment."
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