After a sloppy and messy debate council refers the Code of Conduct to the city manager; new provincial offense court house also given the go.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 16, 2015


This article has been revised.

They are now off for six weeks – except for a three day municipal conference in August the magnificent seven that lead this city of ours will be taking it easy.

During their last city council they came close to making absolute fools of themselves over a code of conduct that we doubt will be followed – and if it is – it will be used to continue the petty games we saw at the Wednesday night council meeting.

After what the Mayor called a “sloppy, messy” debate council put back in a section of the Code that had been taken out at a meeting May 12th.
There was all kinds of fulminating about principles and professionalism and the need to work as a team which isn’t what your Council did Wednesday evening.

After some discussion between Councillors Craven and Sharman in the foyer outside the Council Chamber, Councillor Sharman returned to his seat, said a few words to Councillor Lancaster and the meeting began.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about - civic engagement

Councillor Sharman tends to advise Councillor Lancaster on issues and directions.

Councillor Lancaster introduced a motion, seconded by Councillor Sharman to replace wording in the Code of Conduct that had been taken out at that May 12th meeting.

No one had seen the motion until it was introduced – not the Clerk or the Mayor. All the chatter about professionalism and respect for each other got blown out the window.

There is precious little respect between Councillors Craven and Sharman for Councillor Meed Ward. Councillor Lancaster tends to go along with whatever Sharman suggests.

The issue was about whether or not a council members can involve themselves in matters that are outside their wards.

The Gazette will report on that part of the meeting in another piece.

The final vote was to refer the revised Code of Conduct to the city manager where it will get debated under the Governance section of the strategic Plan. One of the problems is that Strategic Plan meetings are for the most part not recorded or broadcast on the city’s web site.



They now have a Code of Conduct – will it make any difference as to how they behave with one another? Don’t expect any changes – the behaviour for most of these men and women is deeply rooted.

The Gazette will report on that part of the meeting in another piece.

Council goes into Closed Session to hear what city solicitor has to say.

Council went into a closed session to talk with the city solicitor about the latest move on the part of the ADI Development Group and the 28 storey project they want to build at Martha and Lakeshore Road. We have no idea what they talked about but the length of the closed session suggests that it was complex.

Earlier in the week the Ontario Municipal Board Commissioner who will be hearing the ADI application set a date for in March for the hearing.

The OMB meeting on Monday was, we are advised, a meeting to set out what the issues are and to narrow the focus – to determine just what it is ADI is asking the OMB to do.

ADI project - rendering from LAkeshore

It is going to take some really fine lawyering to prevent this 28 storey structure from going up at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore. OMB hearing expected to take place in March of 2016

The Gazette was not able to attend that meeting but our colleague Joan Little, a former city and regional Councillor and a columnist for the Hamilton Spectator, said she didn’t hear any discussion that had to do with the narrowing of the issues.

These preliminary meetings are held to get some sense as to how much time the Municipal Board should allocate for the hearing. The one looks like it is going to be long and contentious.

ADI has hired Weir & Foulds, a Toronto firm with an exceptionally strong pedigree – these guys don’t take any prisoners. Based on the two occasions the Gazette listened to one of their lawyer’s the city has its work cut out for it.

New Court House for Provincial Offenses gets the go-ahead.

There was more – the construction of a court house on Palladium Way at Walkers Line is now a go. The intention is to have a court house built that will hear Provincial Offenses only.

Burlington Court House

At least two more years for this Provincial Offenses Court House.

Citizens in the Alton Community were concerned with people being tried for criminal offenses being in the area. Provincial Offenses are things like Highway Traffic Act cases; charges laid against people who have been charged with a provincial law offense.  They aren’t going to see men and woman in handcuffs and shackles being led into that court house.

While the province is responsible for running the courts in which criminal cases are heard – the building that is being planned will not hear that kind of case

Council approved the issuing of a Request for proposals (RFP) to private sector investors/developers inviting them to purchase or lease the site the city owns and build the court house.

Transit issues got a very small mention – there are going to be talks with Oakville transit to look into what might be done to get some public transit to the court house.

City Manager James Ridge did say that there was some public education needed and that there would be public consultations in September.

The Court House to be built is expected to serve the needs of Region foe the next 25 years. The intention is to have the court house ready for occupancy in January of 2018.

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4 comments to After a sloppy and messy debate council refers the Code of Conduct to the city manager; new provincial offense court house also given the go.

  • Frank

    Was reading this and just had to make note. This is part of the reason why I moved out of the City of Burlington. The City is not being run right. So, in turn, it’s not a great place to live.

  • Glenda D

    Craven, Sharman and, Sharman’s puppet Lancaster all three don’t like hard questions. No respect for those three whatsoever.

  • John

    When our mayor is compelled to call the councils debate “sloppy, messy” is there any hope a code of conduct would change anything ?

    He knows and we know Burlington deserves better, how we get it is the challenge.

  • Helene Skinner

    I usually write lengthy…but this time one word sums it up…CIRCUS!!!