By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A compliance agreement between Champion Petfoods and the Town of Morinville is nearing completion, Council heard Tuesday night. Council had voted unanimously Feb. 14 in favour of pursuing a compliance agreement with Champion to resolve the outstanding odour issue. That agreement seeks mutual understanding between the two parties with respect to time lines on the ongoing issue.
At the Mar. 27 meeting Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun said she had met with Champion Mar. 23 on the progress. “I guess their delay has really been in getting a thorough legal review of that particular document,” she told councillors, adding Champion’s opinion was the agreement was precedent setting. “It was quite a unique agreement between a corporation and a municipality.”
Oyarzun said for this reason it took the company longer to review the document than it might. As a result of her meeting Mar. 23, some areas of legalese were discovered that will need some revisions. The CAO was expecting Champion’s legal team to have the revised document back to the Town of Morinville by the end of March, at which time it will be reviewed by the Town’s lawyers. She is anticipating the Town’s legal review will be completed by the first week of April with signing by both parties to occur in the second week of April.
But just what the compliance agreement between the Town and Champion may contain is unlikely to be made public due to the legal document being protected by FOIP legislation. The mayor has previously said some general information on the agreement may be made public with the actual compliance agreement delving into greater detail on Champion’s proprietary systems and information.
Well we hope that this is a step forward to solving our problems. I hope champion realizes that this only has come about from years of feet dragging. Although the lack of public openness on the issue leaves one to wonder what back room agreements are being made that the town would burn alive in the light of day.
As for the agreement, I am disappointed to hear that it is based on technology todo’s of Champion, rather than just a fixed resolution by a fixed date. This may make the agreement as useless as toilet paper if the technology once again fails, which given the track record will likely be the case.
Lets all ask that the agreement be allowed to see the light of day. Yes personal addresses ECT may be blanked out, but we should at least be given the chance to see what out council has been up to on our behalf. Who knows the public as a whole might appreciate seeing what seems to be a considerable amount of work done for our benefit.
If the council instead decides to try and hide behind foip, rather than make public the large proportion of the document. They should expect a foip request after which the details will then be made public.
Lets share the details with the people that matter. THE PUBLIC. Otherwise expect complaints to continue until the issue is solved.