Does the Mayor not see herself when she says 'we’re not there for you to beat up on.'

By Pepper Parr

July 10th, 2023



Marianne Med Ward said in a tweet she sent out that had a graphic that included her picture saying:

Mayor Meed Word tweeting.

“We wanted to put in place some formal policies if there ever is another time where we have to ban somebody from City Hall.

“It has happened in the past; people who have engaged in offensive, abusive, sexist behaviour, harassing behaviour. You know, I like to tell folks we’re elected officials. We’re not punching bags. Our staff are not punching bags, we’re not there for you to beat up on.

“So we really do require and insist on a respectful workplace; doesn’t mean you have to agree with us, but it means you have to treat everyone with respect. In the past there have been limited but still some occasions where it’s been required to limit contact from some members of the public who would not behave.

“But we didn’t have a policy around you know, how do I get back? How long is this? You know, and that provides transparency accountability, not only for Individual in terms of our expectations but for the public so that’s what we did.”

I was stunned when I heard what the Mayor had to say.

The cheek, the gall; this was despicable behaviour.

We have published what the Mayor said and did to Stolte and we are re-publishing it again.

“We are not punching bags” she said, forgetting what she did to Councillor Shawna Stolte that was so offensive.

What is wrong with this woman?

How much longer is she going to embarrass herself and the citizens of the city. Meed Ward represents every citizen; when she steps forward to speak she is doing so on our behalf.

This is so embarrassing and so hypocritical.

The only way behaviour is changed is people letting her know that what she did to Stolte is not acceptable.

Was the Mayor having a bad day when she re-ordered the agenda of a Council meeting (which she had every right to do) ?

At the time she was attending the graduation of one of her daughters at Western University and chairing the Council meeting virtually.  One would have liked to think she would be bursting with pride as she watched her daughter step onto the stage and accept her degree.  Not our Mayor – she was focused on skewering a member of Council.  To what end?

Stolte had the strength to not be bullied by the Mayor and refused to bend to her will and instead left her seat in the Councillor Chamber.

She had the grace as well to return to her seat later in the meeting and apologized to the woman who felt she had been identified by a comment made by Stolte when she was interviewed by the Gazette.

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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4 comments to Does the Mayor not see herself when she says ‘we’re not there for you to beat up on.’

  • This Public Conduct Plan should make one wary. You can never know where it will lead and what you will get.
    My comment is an almost verbatim email experience I had with Councilor Galbraith and the Mayor, where for completely unstated reasons he found me unacceptable to communicate with. I asked the mayor if this behaviour was acceptable to her and any relevant City Codes of Conduct. The Mayor responded that the Councilor could do this arbitrarily by deeming it necessary with no stated reasons. She said the City City did not have the resources to look into this matter.

    The texts of the emails are self explanatory. I will label each one in order.

    The first is my initial message to Councilor Galbraith.

    1. Hi, I sent the first message about the newsletter, because I did not receive notice from the Councilor about the December 6 Statutory meeting on the Coletara development proposal. These notices are supposed to be in the newsletter, and this should have been a November one and I didn’t get one.
    Please explain.
    Tom Muir
    2. Councilor replies
    You will receive no further communications from my office.

    Hopefully that explains

    3. My query to the Mayor

    The forwarded correspondence is self explanatory.
    My question is – are you going to allow this kind of behaviour and conduct by Councillors under your watch?
    I would not imagine that Councillors have such powers to refuse to represent and communicate Ward 1 matters to constituents. That is their responsibility. My wife has her own needs for her own interests and this refusal includes her.,

    Similarly, I would not imagine that such conduct would be condoned by any City Code of Conduct.
    The Oath of Office Councillors swear to, speaks of conduct that is true, faithful, impartial, unbiased, and otherwise of a proper manner.
    I do not see any of this manner of Councillor conduct in this message from Councillor Galbraith.
    To conduct my affairs I need Councillor communications of Ward 1 matters.
    I repeat my question. Are you, as Mayor, going to allow this kind of conduct?
    Thank you,
    Tom Muir

    4. Reply from the Mayor


    Council members, as well as city staff, can limit their interactions with individuals where deemed necessary.

    The Mayor’s office has neither the authority nor the resources to investigate such situations, or the interactions that led to them. There are established and appropriate avenues for making a complaint, of which you are already aware.

    There are many ways for you to remain connected to news in your Ward, including subscribing to council newsletters and following council members on social media. You can also watch and attend committee and council meetings to see how your elected officials voted and why. You can attend public town halls and meetings. You can request the annual committee/council calendar from clerks (once approved this week for 2023) and check the public agendas which are typically posted about 10 days in advance. Committee dates and agendas are also available online at the City of Burlington calendar below:

    Regarding staying informed on specific development matters, please subscribe to receive alerts for each application you are interested in following. You will receive an email whenever there is updated information. For the specific application mentioned below, please visit this link. The subscribe button is at the top right.

    Regarding public notice of development matters, this is the responsibility of the planning department and clerks. Council members often include these items as a courtesy in their monthly newsletters when that information in known and available prior to publication, however this is not a legislated requirement. Further Statutory Public Meetings are part of formal committee meetings of council. To stay up to date on those, as noted above, please see the annual committee & council calendar and check agendas when published. This provides the most up to date information, especially in between monthly newsletter publication cycles.

    Should you need city services, the most appropriate contact is

    I trust this is helpful.


    I don’t know about you, but being given a to do list to represent myself ,and to deftly justify Councilor Galbraith’s behaviour as okay if he wants to with no justification needed in one sentence shouts beware of absolute power corrupting absolutely.
    The Mayor here looks to me as being okay with that. She easily pardoned Galbraith and convicted me of who knows what, with no evidence needed.

  • G Pert

    It is my understanding that at other city facilities such as the library, there are posted codes of conduct. Offending people who do not abide by the exoected behaviors are initially asked by staff to conform and receive warnings. If the bad behaviour continues … eventually a letter of trespass is issued banning the person from the city facility for a specified period of time. I find it odd that city hall does not have the same policy in place!? After it is the “head office” for the city!
    Or perhaps our elected officials need to be made aware of such a policy and know when to put it into action.

  • Lynn Crosby

    Yes, this really is going over like a lead balloon. Projection?

    I’m reminded of Nisan’s “behaviour” at the earlier three hour grilling of Stolte and the Mayor chaired that meeting and let him go on and on. Has anyone apologized to Shawna for that? – the $50M Bateman number she let out of the bag was, at it turns out, way way too low. Never mind, rhetorical question.

  • Pamela Lynn Cowan

    Clearly this “mayor” has a self serving Donald Trump mindset that will never make Burlington better. Her entitled persona should not work in this city however unfortunately it is. We deserve better – much better!!