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Local councillors boycott meetings in northern Ont. town in hopes of forcing a byelection


The Township of black River-Matheson is broken.

That’s what three local councillors said in a news release Monday, saying council and staff are not working in the best interests of their taxpayers.

Citing grievances related to a 34-per-cent tax increase made without public consultation, Coun. Dave Dyment told CTV News that he and two fellow councillors will not attend council meetings in an effort to force a byelection and form a new council.

This after three earlier meetings were cancelled due to lack of attendance, tumultuous union negotiations — and a public gathering last week criticizing the township’s conduct.

“Our last election, I was the only councillor that was voted for, the other six members were all acclaimed,” Dyment said.

“You don’t really have as much community say, it’s more of a personal say, as to what you want to do. I think, with a re-election, we’re going to have a lot of interest and the people that are going to run will be people that are there for the community. We have over 3,000 people that need to be heard, not just told what is going to happen.”

Business owner Pauline Francis said concerns have been ignored by the current council.

“For the past year, they’re just being ignored,” Francis said.

“In fact, the township has hired, with taxpayers’ money, an investigating company, to investigate its residents. But that’s not doing any justice for the people. We just want transparency and we want our town back, that’s the bottom line.”

A byelection is triggered when a council fails to meet for at least 60 days due to lack of attendance. It has been 55 days since the town’s last regular council meeting.

Mayor Doug Bender was not available for comment. Top Stories

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