Pitfalls of consent agendas

Like many Ontario municipalities, Clarington has turned to consent agendas as a means of streamlining their council meetings. The intent behind this approach is to expedite routine business, enhance efficiency, and allow elected officials to focus on more substantive matters.

However, the growing use of consent agendas has raised concerns about the potential drawbacks, particularly in terms of transparency and public accountability.

Consent agendas are designed to facilitate the swift approval of routine and uncontroversial items, such as minutes, routine reports, and uncontested bylaws. Proponents argue that by bundling these items together and approving them in one fell swoop, municipalities can save time and resources, allowing for a more efficient use of council meeting time.

In theory, this should enable elected officials to focus on more complex and contentious issues, fostering a more effective and responsive local government.

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