Less hubris and more humility

By Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2023



One of the outcomes of the day long workshop on procedures and the flushing out of values and how members of Council wanted to be able to interact with each other was another workshop on things like what a Point of Order is and when a Point of Personal Privilege can be used.

It was also going to include a session on how to be a good Chair of a meeting.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward taking part in a Council Workshop on procedural issues

It was while Council members were commenting on the idea of a workshop that Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said that if she had known more about Points of Order things may have been different at a past Council meeting.

That was a bit of a stretch. During the last meeting of the 2014 Council Meed Ward demonstrated an impressive understanding of procedure and the ability to respond very quickly.

Defeated council member Jack Dennison made a comment about Meed Ward’s Team “stealing his voters”. Meed Ward rose to speak when Mayor Goldring explained that comments were not debatable at which point Meed Ward pulled out a copy of the Procedural Bylaw and gave it to the Clerk that made it clear she was permitted to speak under a Point of Personal Privilege.

It was the first time that the public got to see how tough Meed Ward was going to be in working to replace much of what Golding’s council had done with the Official Plan that Meed Ward was going to rewrite.

The remarks Meed Ward made during the recent Workshop was the first time the public heard her inch towards an explanation for the behaviour during that terrible June meeting of Council that the Mayor chaired virtually from London, Ontario where she was attending the graduation of one of her daughters.

Marianne Meed Ward accepting accolades from her election team the day she won the race to become Mayor.

That isn’t enough.

The Mayor has to apologize to Shawna Stole, she can do that privately, and then go on camera, look directly into the lens and admit that the June 2022 day as not her best day; that she wishes it had never happened but it did and accept responsibility.

Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes lets a situation get out of hand. Real leaders know that when the err they apologize and work to ensure that kind of thing doesn’t happen again

Less hubris and more humility – it will take time but if Marianne Meed Ward wants to be the leader she aspires to be a behavioural course correction is needed now.

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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1 comment to Less hubris and more humility

  • Aunt Tigone

    A rather contemplative friend of mine once told me that “all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” So, I would expect that the Mayor may want to make a course correction if she is truly serious about her relationships with her colleagues and her integrity as a leader. Pride is the original sin and the source of all others. To date, Meed Ward has many reasons to be proud of her accomplishments and several to be not so proud of her behaviour.