City manager to update public on Pier court case and legal costs. Why is Fielding doing the talking – did the cat get the Mayor’s tongue?

By Pepper Parr

January 27, 2014


The big news out of the city council meeting Monday night is that the city is going to go public on the Brant Street Pier.

A Standing Committee met earlier in the day and had what Councillor Sharman referred to as a full exchange of view – but those views were certainly not unanimous.  While Council members had the opportunity to make comments on the meeting Councillor Meed Ward was the only one to speak at any length and she pushed at the city manager who we learned is going to hold a press conference on Thursday to: Cover the past, give the public an update on where things are and talk about what the city plans to do going forward.

City manager Jeff Fielding once had his toe nails painted at a London, Ontario event when he was city manager there He will be doing some pretty fancy foot work next Thursday as he explains the situation with the city and the Pier.

Meed Ward had to push to get city manager Jeff Fielding to add that he will be addressing the matter of just how much the city has spent on legal fees.  Buy Band-Aids today – you’re going to want them on Thursday – we will all be bleeding a bit.

We are advised that Justice Fitzpatrick who is hearing the case has scheduled a meeting in May for the mediation attempt that must take place and that a possible trial date has been pencilled in for the month of June.

Councillor Meed Ward wants the public to have all the information available on the pier and its legal problems. Wants the other council members to be accountable for their part in the mess.

Meed Ward said that the information the public was to be given is “less than what could be offered” and added that each council member has to give an account of their position and not leave that task to the city manager.

Press conferences of this nature are traditionally given by the Mayor as the Chief Magistrate but if you recall how Mayor Goldring handled the press conference during the CN derailment a number of years ago – we know why the city manager has been instructed to be the mouth piece.

Time and place for the press conference were not announced.  It should be a hot event.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 comments to City manager to update public on Pier court case and legal costs. Why is Fielding doing the talking – did the cat get the Mayor’s tongue?

  • Archived Press Coverage from Bygone Days ….

    Burlington pier going nowhere

    Jim Wilkes—Toronto Star—Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Freelance journalist and longtime council critic Marianne Meed Ward, who’s seeking a council seat in Ward 2, where the pier is located, said the project is one of the issues she hears most about on the campaign trail.

    “It compromises Burlington’s reputation as a well-managed city,” she said in an interview. “When this project was originally tendered, we knew the budget, we knew the contractor, we knew the competing tenders. This has been an open process until it hit trouble. Now council has gone behind closed doors and we don’t know what the price tag is.”

  • André Marin—Ontario Ombudsman—December 22, 2013

    I think it’s time for me to visit Mr. André Marin, Ontario Ombudsman, to have a brief discussion about the INDEFENSIBLE WITHHOLDING OF PUBLIC INFORMATION TO CITIZENS OF BURLINGTON.

    The choreography had better include the period from 2006 through 2010, during which time Council appeared unprepared to direct its legal fire.

    It’s all in the Ombudsman’s Review as at December 2013; citing specific absence of required disclosure by Municipal Councils.,-.aspx


    Because Burlington maintains its own Legal Counsel, I assume there were no ‘billable hours’ from that expense category … although I am suspicious that another source of legal opinion may have been retained in seeking some sort of confirmation of an existing legal position.

    • Gui Laroque

      Internal legal at city hall has no experience outside city hall. That’s part of the problem. Lifetime lawyer civil servants are not generally effective at managing big decision making files such as this.

  • marie

    Thank you Marianne!! Well done!!

  • Roger

    It is an election year – it is really a surprise that the mayor does not want to be quoted in a press conference while running for a 2nd term when it is easier to hide behind council. The article points out that the mayor took the lead during the derailment. This is a statement in leadership or lack of leadership.

  • Joan Gallagher-Bell

    In my experience I have always thought Burlingtonians were old enough to know what is going on with all aspects that affect us …….example the true cost of pier. Please remember the meaning of the word transparency!