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Local coalition invites mayor to public meeting to discuss CDN contract

A rally was held outside Oshawa City Hall recently to protest against CDN Protection, the security firm hired by the city to patrol the downtown core. (Photo by Randy Nickerson)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

A local coalition is calling on the mayor to hold a special meeting to discuss concerns surrounding the city’s contract with CDN Protection.

Local groups We Are Oshawa, DIRE, AIDS Committee of Durham Region, and Durham Region Labour Council, are inviting Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter to meet outside Oshawa City Hall today, Friday, Aug. 14, from 5 to 6 p.m. to request a public meeting regarding the city’s contract with CDN.

Jesse Cullen of We Are Oshawa notes the mayor didn’t attend a recent rally protesting the security firm.

“So we wanted to give him the opportunity and extend the invitation to him to meet with us outside city hall so we can formally request to him in person that he call a special meeting of council, which he has the power to do under the Municipal Act,” says Cullen.

He says it’s important the public be able to have their input on the record.

“We really think because this issue was made with public dollars to patrol public areas, that any input the community has should be on the record at a public meeting,” says Cullen, who notes to date there hasn’t been an opportunity to do so.

City council approved the hiring of CDN Protection at a cost of $100,000 in early June, and since then, a senior official with the company has come under fire for alleged racist and derogatory posts on social media and text messages.

Cullen says there’s major concern surrounding the security company and how they are treating members of the community, specifically those who need access to services.

“On top of the information that’s come out, the images that have been shared, the racist comments posted online by the owner… the evidence is so overwhelming that this is an inappropriate decision,” he says. “We really want to have an opportunity to have those comments on the public record.”

Cullen notes the mayor originally voted against the motion to award CDN Protection the contract, so this should be an easy ask of him.

While Cullen says the end goal would be to have council reconsider their decision to have CDN patrol the city’s downtown, the first step is for the mayor to call a special meeting.

“We just want him to do the right thing and give the community an opportunity to provide feedback to councillors on the record.”