By Ken Mann
Reporter 900 CHML

There’s a new twist to the sometimes strained relationship between Hamilton city council and the Hamilton Port Authority.

The latest drama involves the city’s appointment of long-time environmental advocate Jim Howlett as its representative on the authority’s board of directors.

That, in turn, has prompted a letter from the port authority to city council indicating that Howlett is “denied access” to its properties because he has engaged in “prohibited activities.”

The letter also indicates that prohibition may “get in the way of the city being effectively represented on the board.”

The confidential letter was presented to city council in closed session on Wednesday night, but a copy was waved in the air during open session by Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla.

It was posted to Twitter after being captured on camera by Joey Coleman’s the Public Record.

City council is standing by its appointment of Howlett with Merulla suggesting that the HPA is “crossing the line” by questioning council’s judgment.

Howlett says “you can’t have healthy governance without a divergence of views” adding that he hopes “to hand an olive branch across the harbour, not a thorn bush.”

The port authority is a federal arm’s-length agency, which governs all shipping and port-related business in the industrial end of Hamilton harbour.

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