- Bianca Müller
Most of the issues council deals with are political issues, and while important, they just reflect the usual back-and-forth of municipal politics. But this past year Halifax council dealt with two issues that are in a separate moral category altogether: dealing with Peter Kelly and handling the Occupy protest. On both counts, council failed miserably. Jennifer Watts is usually clear-headed on the normal political issues, and brings a thoughtful cadence to council discussions. But like most other councillors, she completely missed the boat on censuring Kelly.
As for Occupy, Watts went and met with the protesters, who share her left-of-centre perspective. Had council had an open, public discussion about Occupy, things might have proceeded much differently, but instead the council discussion happened in secret. Because it was secret, different spins could be put on the eviction---cops say council ordered it, while councillors say they never agreed to the way it unfolded.
Regardless, Watts went along with the secret deliberations, and subsequently realized that was a mistake. Her attempt to apologize for her role in the eviction was ruled out-of-order by Peter Kelly, but it was heartfelt, and brought Watts back to her political home with the social justice movement.