After five years as Council members some did not fully understand what a Conflict of Interest is.

By Pepper Parr

April 19th, 2023



During a lengthy city council meeting on Tuesday, Burlington’s Integrity Commissioner found herself having to explain to the members of Council what they should be doing in handling the perception of a bias or a Conflict of Interest.

These seven people have been in office for more than five years; two have been in office for more than 12 years – and they don’t fully understand or comprehend what a Conflict of Interest is and what is involved when they accept election campaign donations?

The 2022-2026 city Council being sworn in: Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte participated virtually.

These people are not stupid but there appears to be a wilful blindness on their part which damages significantly public trust in the administration of the city’s affairs.

A development that will add significantly to the population growth the city is experiencing.

Burlington is going through a form of population growth that it has never experienced before. In a decade it will be a much different city.

The public is having difficulty in adapting to the changes taking place and they look to the people they elected to office to be open, transparent, accountable and honest with them.

Instead what residents of the city get are statements that don’t ring true to many.

Mayor Meed Ward: The job is not to be liked but to lead.

Being elected to office means you are prepared to lead and to give the public not the answers to questions you think they want but answers to questions that reflect the reality the city faces.

City Councillors are not in place to be liked; they are in place to serve the public interest – not their own interests.

This Council is known for its internal bickering with complaints by some Councillors made to the Integrity Commissioner about other Council members.

The city has a Mayor who spent 14 minutes (you can listen to it HERE) doing her best to diminish a fellow Council member to the point where  that individual has been pounded so much she has difficulty serving her constituents.

The people of Burlington have a right to expect better of their elected leadership and that leadership has the responsibility to deliver on the promise to serve and not see the photo op as their most effective form of communication.

Related news stories:

Just what is a Conflict of Interest?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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1 comment to After five years as Council members some did not fully understand what a Conflict of Interest is.

  • Gordon N Brennan

    Here in Oakville, residents are not even allowed to complain to the Integrity Commissioner until After the complaint has been Pre-screened by our Council first and They determine if the complaint is worthy of being forwarded to the Commissioner. Totally against the ruling handed down by Judge Bellamy who specifically ruled that Municipal Governments not be allowed to Pre-screen complaints. Also, several of our Councilors and our Mayor have accepted donations from Developers and then they are approving or not approving subdivisions from these Developers.