Mayor forgetting some of the reasons she was elected: transparency and engagement not as front and center as they used to be

News 100 redBy Staff

June 8th, 2020



Mayor Meed Ward met with members of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) via webcast last week and discussed the urgent need to get financial support from upper levels of government to municipalities in dire need.

Guelph Mayor and LUMCO Chair Cam Guthrie explained, “Municipalities are facing a perfect storm of increased costs and decreased revenues in the face of this public health crisis; this threatens our ability to deliver critical services when our residents need them most.

“While we have heard for weeks that the Prime Minister and Premier have been talking about this pressing need, the time has come for action. Mayor Guthrie asserted that “On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, please, conclude your negotiations and start supporting our residents and the services we all need to support the recovery.”

Nothing new here. Mayors are always money grubbing the province and the federal government for funds.  Meeting via Zoom broadcasts isn’t new anymore either.

What was different was that those participating in the LUMCO event were able to see each other on their computer monitors. Same thing with the Halton Regional Council meetings

LUMCO webcast June 5

All the LUMCO participants are on the screen. Public doesn’t get that advantage in Burlington.

Burlington city Council now holds all council meetings in what we call a virtual format. But citizens of Burlington do not get to see the people taking part in the meeting other than the Mayor.

Kearns on line at virtual

The Mayor and the Clerk are in the Council Chambers – rest of Council sit elsewhere with their photograph coming up when they speak

MMW as MAyor and ChairOn the plus side, Meed Ward does a good job of running a smooth meeting; she continually has to remind participants to press the mute button.

The city explained that the reason we cannot see the participants is because the captions are running beneath the visual and the system cannot handle both running “closed captions” and giving full video. That might be true – however just how many people read the “closed captions” – they are often incorrect.

There is the belief that council prefers that their official photograph appear on the screen when they are talking.

Meed ward election night 1

The winner does take all.

We have a Mayor who thank the media for participating and refers to her 22 years as a journalist and the importance of media to the democratic process – while at the same time doing precious little to ensure that media has access to the full proceedings of Council.

Due to the pandemic conditions everyone is under there are numerous Special Meetings of Council – often called at short notice. These are all done “at the call of the Mayor”. The notice that there will be a Special meeting is posted to the city calendar. To keep on top of the meeting schedule one would have to log into the city calendar twice a day to ensure they didn’t miss anything.

Not a reason in the world for the Mayor not to advise media that she has called a Special Meeting – our belief is that she just doesn’t want to.

During the October 2018 election Marianne Meed Ward met with media whenever they asked.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.