Legislative and legal challenges made it impossible to find a solution to the taxi problem

By Pepper Parr

December 1st, 2021



People at city hall don’t set out to hurt people.  Mistakes get made and the people who made the mistake, for the most part, set out to correct the error.

Some mistakes leave scars and diminish people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.

The number of people going to food banks has risen: 300,000 households in Ontario made the trip this year.

The Food Bank can deliver some of the food needed – but not all of it.

The Burlington Food Bank is able to deliver food to many of the households that need help.

No one broadcasts that they need help feeding their families; while it is not something one should be ashamed of – there is a sense of shame for those on any form of public welfare.

Several of the churches in Burlington had a system that let them give families with no transportation a taxi chit that let them get to the food bank.

Now there is no taxi service and I personally doubt there will be one for something in the order of 100 days.  The “significant legislative and legal challenges”  made it impossible.

Those “legislative and legal challenges need to be replaced by “whatever it takes”. That is what makes a city great.

These mistakes cannot and should never be looked upon as a “learning opportunity”; a phrase that has achieved some currency at the Council table.

The apology from the City Manager just isn’t enough.

Related news story.

Councillor explains.

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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7 comments to Legislative and legal challenges made it impossible to find a solution to the taxi problem

  • A council that does not keep a public tally of outstanding council staff directives is clearly not a transparent council. All outstanding directives used to appear on the agenda. We remember bringing to council’s attention how stale dated one very important directive was. They suddenly disappeared from the agenda, never to return which is city’s way of burying live issues they would rather not deal with.

    • Bruce Leigh

      Do you guys ever have a positive word to say about anything.

      In the article it is clearly said the directive was initiated in 2018 under the former administration. One would assume that staff, which is to all intents and purposes is at municipal level the equvalent of the federal Civil Service, would have provided the new administration a complete brief of all outstanding matters, including directives.

      So if this administration was unaware of the 2018 directive this has nothing to do with transparency but all to do with the incompetence of City staff in failing in its briefing of the new administration.

      • Marianne Meed Ward is not only Mayor she is Chief Executive Officer and the buck stops at her desk. At her first meeting with the new city manager after election she should have asked for a list of all outstanding council directives and got them back on the council agenda to scrap them or get the directive back in play. Changing of the guard does not excuse a CEO elected or not knowing what pot on the stove is boiling dry.

        • Bruce Leigh

          You’re somewhat right. But the old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” always hold true.

          Are you two fully knowledgeable:-

          • if the Mayor did or did not ask for a full listing of open matters?

          • if the Mayor did or did not receive such a listing, whether asked for or offered by staff?

          • if the specific matter was or was not on that listing?

          Or are you just guessing, assuming as is your norm?

          • We all know that if Meed Ward had asked for such disclosure (as she should have done) and not got it she would have been stating that on her CHCH interview and the person responsible ( Angela Morgan whose job as Clerk was to keep follow up files on the status of council directives) would have been long gone. Anne held a similar position to the Clerk for a public corporation for more than a decade and we thoroughly understand the role of the Clerk and the CEO and where both plus Councillor Sharman failed the community (particularly the vulnerable sector who are dependent on taxi’s for doctor’s appointments etc.). What is your background that lead you to suggest we are guessing or assuming (“as is your norm”) – mind reader?

          • Bruce Leigh

            Don’t need to be a mind reader because it’s clear from yyouhhaving not answered even one of the questions that you are summizing, guessing or assuming. You obviously have no inside knowledge, or any knowledge above and beyond that available to the rest of us. I am not saying you may nnot ultimately be correct. But I am saying you have no factual base for your comments. All you have is a guess, an assumption.

  • Mary Hill

    What would be “enough”?