Has Mayor Meed Ward lost her way - choosing to use a procedural bylaw rather than grace and civility

By Pepper Parr

November 12th, 2023


Perhaps it was because of the problems with the sound system that put the Mayor off her pace.

“Do you want to use a different microphone? Testing testing, testing. Let’s get rid of the echo” she said as the audio visual staff struggled to get the council meeting online.

“All right, I think we have addressed our sound situation.”

When Mayor Marianne Meed Ward calls a meeting to order the National Anthem is traditionally played.  Those members of Council in the Chamber stand and face a picture of the Monarch that hangs on the wall to the right of the Mayor.

That didn’t happen at the November 2nd meeting of Council.

The mayor proceeded to get the meeting started saying:

“We do have rules of engagement and council meetings. We would ask everyone to please be respectful while others are speaking and listen while you as you would want to be listened to we do not permit derogatory language of any member of the public staff or council during our proceedings. A reminder to council members to proceed to adhere to the procedure Bylaw and limit your questions to two at a time and ask questions only for the purpose of obtaining facts relevant to the matter under discussion and necessary for a clearer understanding per our procedure bylaw.”

“By way of introduction of our members our first order of business for today’s meeting is to conduct a roll call. I will now turn it to the city clerk who will take attendance of members present and confirm quorum Clerk please conduct the roll call.

“Mayor we have a quorum.”

The Mayor then did some Agenda management and advised Council that item 8.1, the mayor’s 2024 budget would be moved forward in the agenda and said: “We do have a number of delegations and we think they’d probably benefit from hearing that discussion sooner rather than later.

“So I will first welcome Ann and Dave Marston who are in chambers with us to speak regarding Mayor’s budget 2024.  Come on up to the podium you will have five minutes per council rules and stick around. There may be questions afterwards and we’ll get the clock started whenever you are ready to get going.”

Before starting the delegation Ann said – “it’s an observation but where was O Canada? This is a regular council meeting.”

Mayor Meed Ward responded: “You can go ahead and get started. We don’t take questions from delegations but one of us can certainly speak to that in our remarks later

“Go ahead.”

It was a sharp rebuke made to a person who had made an observation – nothing more.

It was so unbecoming.

Could this Mayor not have responded with something along these lines ?

“I am sorry – you are right, we neglected to sing the National Anthem, my apologies.

“Perhaps we should stand now and sing O Canada.”

Something like this just wasn’t within the Mayor we have.

Kindness, consideration, grace, an ability to admit when errors are made just don’t seem to be part of who this woman is and for that we are all the poorer.

A Mayor sets the tone of meetings.  Instead of spouting that transparent and accountable line that she has been using ever since she set her sights on becoming a politician Marianne has become a bit of a thug.

Her atrocious behaviour when she went on a 14 minute rant and attempted to bully a council member into making a public apology (that in our view was not necessary) to a Staff member is what she will be remembered for.

It didn’t have to be this way – but the pattern has been set and it looks as if it is going to be the approach she takes to getting the budget she keeps telling us is something she had to do.

Balderdash – Mayor Meed Ward chose to use the Strong Mayor powers most Mayors were given last July.

Guelph didn’t use them – a number of smaller municipalities chose to take a pass is as well

Related news articles.

Who used the Strong Mayor Powers to control the creating of a budget?



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8 comments to Has Mayor Meed Ward lost her way – choosing to use a procedural bylaw rather than grace and civility

  • Jim Thomson

    Marianne posted about timmies smile cookie campaign.
    Still nothing about the four injured workmen at Bateman.
    Still nothing to reasure the community that there was no release of Asbestos into the community when the roof collapsed.
    Asbestos is a toxic substance with known carcinogenic properties.

    ie Asbestos can cause cancer.

    • Lynn Crosby

      I thought the same when I saw the usual multi-photo-of-herself cookie post.

      It’s unbelievable that she’s said nothing. What an insult to the workers and all Burlington residents. Any other mayor would have had a public comment the same day.

  • Perryb

    Tempest in a teapot. We all have an off day.

  • Jim Thomson

    Marianne has been off her game since she got elected mayor.
    Power reveals.

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    Procedural By-law

    32. Council Agenda
    32.1 The Clerk will prepare for the members of Council the order of business as follows:
    a) Call to Order
    b) National Anthem
    c) Land Acknowledgement
    d) Regrets
    This means if we have six Regular Coumcil Meetings in a month we sing Oh Canada six times. When will Mr. Commisso and Councll address the issues created by this Clerk.

    • Jim Thomson

      Section 23 in By-law 86-2022 is the relevant section. The agenda for the Thurday at 1:00 pm isn’t defined anywhere.