Call it what it is - two faced behaviour from a Mayor who should know better

By Pepper Parr

September 27th, 2023



The gall; the astounding level of hypocrisy.

During the closing half hour of the City Council meeting yesterday Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward chairing a meeting of City Council virtually while she attended the graduation of her daughter from Western University.

I want to send that message to the community. We hear you, we hear the concerns and as noted, we will be dealing with this later this year. And we also I think, you know, and I do appreciate the comments from council with the you know, just huge empathy for what Mary Alice and others have gone through when they tried to ask people to just be good neighbours.

There is no place in our city for harassment, for abuse for, violating. You know, really all of the things that she has experienced violate our bylaws.

And they certainly violate the standards of civil society. So and maybe that’s, how we deal with this –  we just call it out whenever we hear it and let our community know that we have higher expectations for their behaviour, and we expect them to behave within the rules of law that have, that we have all agreed as a community and as a society, are helpful to us to get along well together.

The Mayor was talking about comments made by some of the delegators who had neighbouring properties turned into AirB&B locations and rented out for weekend parties where the noise and abuse was terrible. The delegators were upset, which would be putting it mildly, and on occasion they were, according to the Mayor, picking on staff unfairly.

This kind of behaviour doesn’t advance a point of view – but it does let Council and Staff know that there are some very unhappy people who expect their city administration to help.

What the Gazette has difficulty with is a Mayor saying: “we just call it out whenever we hear it and let our community know that we have higher expectations for their behaviour”.

We so wish the Mayor had followed her own advice when she attempted to coerce a fellow Council member to issue an apology.  It was one of the most disgraceful performances I have ever heard from an elected official – and I have been following local politics for more than 50 years.

Here is what Mayor Meed Ward said when she was doing some agenda management and trying to force a fellow member of city Council to issue an apology during a Council meeting.

We have published the Mayor’s comment on numerous occasions and will continue to publish them until the Mayor has the decency to say it wasn’t one of her best days and apologize to Councillor Stolte.

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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2 comments to Call it what it is – two faced behaviour from a Mayor who should know better

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    The consequent high anxiety issues for members of Burlington community after interacting with Air B&B owners was very effectively and bravely demonstrated at rhe Sept 26 Council lectern. Paul Sharman’s dismissal of the seriousness of health and safety issues being a number one priority in terms of Halton upcoming legislative Committee 1 and 2 tier issues review was very effectively demonstrated as Paul Sharman’s self interest poking hrough way ahead of the community best interests.

    After our delegation, Sharman asked if there were any other matters we had an opinion on and, of course, he meant taking to the Legislative Committee and when we answered yes and you can read them in the book, we had offered to send to him that was given to the last facilitators in 2019, he was very obviously irritated.

    Sharman having previously received much notice and details of the health and safety and several other categories of issues we audited and ignored is we believe getting anxious about his role in burying major issues that there should have been discussion on at the committees and Council we took them to since his 2010 electon. Election that was on the backs of former Mayor Mulkewich and John Boich and the Engagement Charter he supported being put in place, and then ignored, to the detriment of our Halton and Burlington community.

    Former Provincial Ombudsman Marrin at the same time Boich warned the city of the toxicity of Council and lack of engagement commented from his experience that councillors make provincial politicians look like choirboys. Sharman knows what’s in the book received by the facilitators and offered to him if we can get it past the Clerk’s office, does just that.

  • We thought Council had learned their lesson with Air B & B. We were present in Council when neighbors of one such establishment had been before Council numerous times begging for bylaws to be honored.

    The solution was a simple one when they finally took it the owners did t even show in Court. The Council owes no allegiance to Air B and B owners they owe lots to taxpayers including their very fat pay cheques,paychecks and own personal staff including a new Chief of Staff at a timewhen businesses are going under li,ke never before.

    Hopefully the new municipal minister is providing an opportunity for those affected to tell their story to the Legislative Committee, we will keep public posted on this review mechanism through our @LetVotersSpeak Twitter account. Also make a ton of noise to Effie and Natalie, respectful but persistent. Make arrangements for them to join you for a cup of cocoa night cap when the parties start. Karina Gould the ex Child and Family Minister might like to bring her son to your verandah for a Blankie and cosy bed time story. Now that would be working with her constituent families to keep the peace.