Mayor sued for $1 million by Sean Baird - 11 others included in the Statement of Claim. City will pick up the Mayor's legal expenses

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2021



CORRECTION: The $2150,000 for malicious and high handed conduct should have been $250,000


Sean Baird has instructed his legal counsel to file a Notice of Action and has delivered a Statement of Claim to the following

Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward on election night.

Adam Atkinson – with CHCH
Sharon Balcaran-Grantham
John Bkila – Communication person in the Mayor’s office
Kelly Childs – owner of a cup cake shop
Lynn Crosby – citizen and manager of the Mayors 2018 election campaign manager
Georgie Gatside, City of Burlington employee
Victoria Hughes Al-Samadi – Chief of Staff for the Mayor
David Lea – journalist for Torstar
Marianne Meed Ward – Mayor of Burlington
Don Mitchell – with Global News
James Burchill – operates the Smart Car Confidential blog
Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette

The Mayor and I are finally involved in a law suit where we are on the same side.

Some facts.  Mr Baird was charged under the criminal code for fraud over $5,000 and Used forged documents.  He was also charged under the Municipal Elections Act.  The Crown withdrew the Criminal Code charges against Sean Baird.  The municipal elections Act charges have yet to be heard in a Courtroom.

Sean Baird is now suing for damages to his reputation.

The Statement of claim is for $1 million for libel plus $250,000 for malicious and high handed conduct.

Many of those served with the Statement of Claim are employees of a national newspaper operation who will cover the legal costs.

The City will cover the legal costs of the Mayor, her staff and city employees. That expense will be buried in the legal department budget.

In the covering letter that accompanied the Statement of Claim and the Notice of Action counsel writes.

“You are invited to make inquiries with respect to these matters, and to publicly apologize to Mr. Baird with respect to the contents contained in these pleadings. On a without prejudice basis, I will thereafter seek instructions from Mr. Baird for dismissal of the claim against you on a without cost basis.”

More to this story.

Related news stories:

Sean Baird charged with fraud

Criminal charges against Sean Baird withdrawn
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 Mayor sued for $1 million by Sean Baird – 11 others included in the Statement of Claim. City will pick up the Mayor’s legal expenses

  • Attempting to gag local media for reporting the news seems desperate and picking on the freely produced Smartcar Coffee Confidential show seems downright spiteful! Granted he might not have liked the news at the time, but it was factually accurate. Since then, I understand all the charges have been withdrawn. Moreover, he was never even mentioned in the 42sec clip to which he refers in his statement of action and names my show 🙁 Here’s the clip for anyone interested: … Ironic that the last thing I say is about NOT liking BULLIES … on today of all days!

  • Blair

    From what I know about this lawsuit it is difficult for me to understand Mr. Baird’s motives. What the defendants posted or published was already publicly available news and I am unaware of any unwarranted or malicious commentary or attributions. That said, when you live by social media you can also die by it. It’s a very fickle mistress.

  • perryb

    Lawyer says “Say sorry and we’ll forget about all this”. Sound like a good deal — just say “sorry” and continue with the Elections Act violations prosecution.

  • Penny Hersh


    John Bkila works for the city now. He is the City’s Communication person in the Mayor’s office.

  • Deborah

    Can you say ‘I need money, how can i get some’.

  • Maggie Ann Steiss

    Good Grief. At first I was speechless. A few more details would help though. As for suing members of the press, isn’t reporting news their job. His arrest and the charges were news.

  • If Mr. Baird loses will all legal expenses of those sued be paid by Mr. Baird so taxpayers will be able to avoid these costs?