Mayor appears to be using the air waves to get her points across

By Pepper Parr

November 29th, 2022



An Aldershot resident sent the following email.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

“I was just informed that Mayor Meed Ward was reportedly “ranting” about the complaint, similar to the Spectator Opinion, on CHCH TV last Friday November 25.

“Once again she is using her political influence to involve herself directly in the public media about the conflict of interest complaint. I didn’t see it.

“She is usurping the credibility of the independence, no politics involved, of the Integrity Commissioner process, who knows that she can bury their recommendation report, and already looks to be trying to rig the Council vote before you have even done your investigations and prepared the report.

“I could say more, but I will say that this is looking like a big reason why the province passed conflict of interest laws for politicians, and regulations or whatever they are called, saying that every municipality must have independent Integrity Commissioners to investigate such complaints.

“This situation is a classic example for what can happen when the politicians are left to themselves.”

Related news stories:

The Integrity Commissioner told the Ward 1 councillor what he could and could not do.

What happens when there is a tie vote?

Rants seem to be what the Mayor uses regularly

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10 comments to Mayor appears to be using the air waves to get her points across

  • Penny Hersh


    You have no idea what I think. I am the first to say that you don’t own the view when you buy a condominium on Lakeshore that faces the water, or can think that construction will not take place in areas where developers have been buying up properties.

    My concern is the number of condominium buildings being constructed in a very small area. The units being built are extremely small. A 792 square foot unit selling for over $1,000.00 a square foot is not what I would call affordable. Nor would I suggest that these would be “family friendly”.

    The ADI development on Lakeshore/Martha flaunts the regulations in place when it comes to working at 10pm in the evenings with lights on their crane that shine into the windows of those residents living in the area ( no this does not affect me). These lights shine into the windows of Martha’s Landing Retirement Residence and Martha Towers, which is a rental building where many seniors live.

    Many complaints have been made to the city and yet they seem unable to ensure that this construction company is held responsible.

    So yes when there is a conflict of interest that might involve a councillor which in effect could allow over-intensification in an area it is imperative that this be handled by a process that is totally independent.

    When a law firm is hired by the city to act as an Integrity Commissioner, one questions how independent this review can be, especially when 4 members of council defend the action of one of the councillors prior to a report being presented.

  • Bonnie

    Dave, in a perfect world, in my opinion, the Integrity Commissioners would be a provincial body. However, the municipalities at this point, do have options, which are as follows: direct employment of the commissioner, non-employment retainer or cost sharing with other municipalities. Perhaps this should be something handled by the Halton Regional Council and commissioners hired on retainers when required,

  • bonnie

    Sadly, as been said in the past, Burlington, has no widespread news source to counter the moves made by the Mayor. The fact that the Integrity Commission works on contract for the city, is in itself, a strange situation., If they make the wrong decisions according to the Mayor’s playbook, is the contract not renewed? What would be the outcome, if a complaint was lodged against the Mayor….I think we know the answer?

    • Dave Turner

      Bonnie, who would you suggest should appoint and pay for the IC?

      One must hope and believe that no matter who appoints and pays for the IC, the IC will act with integrity and without bias.

      Burlington appointed the firm of Principles Integrity as it’s IC. This firm was the IC for the City of Orillia. In a matter there the firm showed integrity but regrettably the City Council not so much.

      I am confident that the Mayor and all our councilors have way more integrity than the council for the City of Orillia and will accept and act upon any recommendations the IC presents.

  • Dave Turner

    Will Aldershot Deep Throat be providing either or both a link to a recording of the referenced CHCH TV piece or a transcript of it?

  • Penny Hersh

    Residents of Burlington should be investigating what this mayor has chosen to do. Surely this must be considered inappropriate behaviour. This is made even more egregious because a report asked for by Council Galbraith, indicating that he did have a conflict of interest was made public.

    These actions lead the public to believe how little influence the Integrity Commissioner’s report will have when it finally comes to Council. A council, in effect, that can simply chose to ignore the recommendations.

    Once again I have to question why Councillor Sharman would have included his name in the letter sent to The Hamilton Spectator defending Councillor Galbraith prior to receiving the Integrity Commission’s report?

    These actions have made a mockery of the Integrity Commission.

    This action does not bode well for having Strong Mayors in any Municipality.

    • Mary Hill

      As said to Marsdens, if you feel so strongly make a complaint to the IC and see what happens. You have indicated you would like there to be an investigation. So make the complaint.

      The IC advised Galbraith would have a conflict if and when developments adjacent to his properties came before committee or council. To date that has not happened. So no actual conflict and no need to recuse from a discussion that has not happened.

      • Mary you ignore the issue that everyone is upset about. The issue, once again that is front and centre of so much debate is the Ward 1 Councillor knew long before nominations closed that the IC, after Galbraith sought his advice, said he had a conflict of interest and would not be able to take part in a very important decision of council that would be addressed after the election. This puts council in a 6 person decision making council where a majority vote would be 4-2 which is a much harder majority to get than 4-3. He failed to disclose this to those who he was asking to vote for him i.e. his Ward 1 constituents until long after he knew about it and we understand, stand to be corrected, after nominations closed.

        That is the complaint, not that he failed to fulfil the IC’s judgment that he needed to declare a conflict of interest. That is we believe, but have not seen the complaint, what the complaint(s) are about. The four council members took it upon themselvesl to declare Galbraith has done nothing wrong and cause a lot of people to be confused about what the complaint (held to be very legitimate by numerous people who are aware of the ICs advice and the date it was given to him) The move of the four council members is seen to be a move to interfere with the IC process which is let the complaint go in, let the IC makes his decision and then all members have the absolute right, as should members of the public to state their case to support or reject the IC judgment. Members of the public have a right to support such a complaint because it has in their minds affected their ability to select the candidate who can best meet their needs at the Council table for the next four years. If Galbraith had put out a statement when he got the IC’s advice and been up front with the electorate there would have been no cause for complaint – but he did not do that.

        Transparency is a legislated requirement of every municipal council and it is, therefore, required of the individual councillors seeking election. All he had to do was inform the community that he had a conflict of interest and would abide by the ICs advice to have avoided this uproar as to his behavior and that of four of his fellow councillors.

        • Bob

          “All he had to do was inform the community that he had a conflict of interest and would abide by the ICs advice to have avoided this uproar as to his behaviour and that of four of his fellow councillors.“

          He never had a conflict of interest. He COULD in the future have a conflict IF and when his property comes before council. He asked the IC for advice on this and was given advice which he is presumably following.

          When the Marsden’s complain in the Burlington Gazette about the project proposed for the corner of Brant and Prospect, do they declare their conflict?
          Or does Penny declare her conflict of interest when discussing the buildings beside her project downtown? Nope.

          I’d asssume every councillor has a potential conflict as I’d assume (and it’s only an assumption) that they are homeowners in their prospective wards and there very well COULD be a situation whereas a decision before council could affect their interest. If and when that were to occur, just like the advice given to the Ward 1 councillor, they would be expected to declare a conflict. Until that happens there is nothing to see here, which is what the mayor has been saying.

        • Mary Hill

          i disagree with your opinion

          Is not the transparency requirement to declare a conflict of interest when one exists. One did not exist. Still does not exist. If and when it does exist he will recuse himself. As respects his vote not being available, well that’s just the way it would be, and it would be the same in another situation where a councilor had to recuse themself.

          I cannot help but recall how you were vocally supportive of Councilor Stolte when she deliberately breached Council confidentiality and the City’s Code of Good Governance resulting in the IC recommending loss of pay. Why did you not stridently condemn Councilor Stolte’s action?

          Marsden double talk.