Some spicy comments on the Integrity report and the role the Mayor played

By Staff

April 18th, 2022



Roland regrets:

“I posted a comment on Friday on my personal Facebook account about the current controversy between Burlington councillors.

“Nobody can claim that ‘private’ Facebook accounts are really private any more, and I can’t complain, given the circumstances in which I made the post, about anybody breaking the ‘confidentiality’ of a personal account.

“Within about two hours I thought better of the comment and deleted it. However, while it was online the comment was copied and sent to the Burlington Gazette, which posted it in an article today.

I’m not reposting the comment here, because it doesn’t need any further publicity, but it is linked to above.

“I have long been guilty of sudden rushes of blood to the head, and it frequently gets me in trouble. “Good Roland” tries to be fairly even-keeled and temperate. “Bad Roland” can’t keep his mouth shut.

“While I stand by the essence of the points made in the second paragraph (and made them in a more articulate way here), I have no evidence for the guess made in the first paragraph, and therefore should not have made it. I also crossed the line into an ‘ad hominem‘ attack in the words I chose to use on Facebook. I sincerely regret those words and apologise to the mayor and the two councillors concerned.

“We started the 905er Podcast because we wanted to contribute to a more balanced level of debate, based on a sound understanding of events and a willingness to see both sides of an argument. While we are not going to shy away from being critical when we believe it is warranted, it should always be within a context of fairness, balance and a basis on established facts. Even when critical, our writing and the comments we make on our podcast should never cross the line into personal attacks. I fell short of the standard we have set ourselves, and the standard expected of any responsible entity that claims to cover current affairs with journalistic standards.”



There are some very strong views being voiced by well-informed people on the release of the Integrity Commissioner’s report released last week.

Roland Tanner, who produces the 905er, a podcast aimed at the 905 market.

Set out below is what can only be called a rant.

Good on him. There are many others holding the same views

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15 comments to Roland rants: Some spicy comment on the Integrity Report and the role the Mayor played

  • Elan

    Shawna Stolte is telling us this Council is routinely hiding relavent democratic discourse behind a veil of decaring anything reomotely politically sensitive “Closed”, and apparently punishing anyone who complains. Yes, She broke the rules. The perpetrators are hiding behind the :rules” But to speak of it, you are punished. My MMW and her cabal of mediocre contributors in Nissan (running for Mayor, really?) and Galbraith (no motions to Council in 4 years until this one). Good luck, Burlington. Your best hope in Shawna Stolte just gave up and

    • Jim Thomson

      Curiously Councillor Stolte didn’t refer any closed sessions to the Closed Meeting Investigator to get a determination that they were being routinely used to hide democratic discourse.

      That’s what she should have done if she believed that the Closed Meetings were being improperly invoked.

  • Elan

    There is a thread of Imaginative speculative thought that, in January, MMW, the City Manager and the City Clerk cornered Stolte in a meeting accusing her of breeching protocol, and that she better get in line unless there might be an integrity commission complaint.

    I dont know this actually happened,it probably didnt, but soon after Nissan (an MMW toadie) and Galbraith (who had not brought a motion forward in 4 years of council) decided to sponsor a smackdown of Stolte. Two of the allegations were BS, because the complaintant and the City Clerk did not do any homework. One regarding release of a address of closed door proceedings was totally appropriate based on Ontario precedent, given citizens concerns, but the MMW council and Legal wanted to sheild themselves from revealing their compiicilty in sidiing with the compaintant against the citizen group…alllegedly and specultativey, though I am totally guessing here. The Ward 4 Councillor was hung our to dry with these citizens The Batement close door session, given Stolte’s passion, I believe, speculatively, must have included plan details which the Mayor did not want disclosed to the public. like alledgedly and speculatively regarding MMW promises for greenspace which will actually be paved over for parking lots (Joni!@)) i can ialso allegedly magine that what she said after did not match the reality,,,,but I am only guessing and speculating here. What do I know? Nothing.

    Everything stated above is only my opinion. With no prior or post knowledge Not sure if it really happened. That way.

    • Jim Thomson

      What a wonderful contribution to the debate.
      Elan knows nothing but will smear the City Manager the City Clerk and the Mayor anyway.

      Note to Editor. Why do you allow this baseless speculation?

      Note to Jim: She has an opinion as do you. Is hers any less informed than yours?

      • Jim Thomson

        “Imaginative speculative thought” and “totally guessing” isn’t informed opinion.
        It’s exactly what Rolland Tanner apologized for.

      • Dave Turner

        I’ve just got back from an extended overseas trip and after catching up on many Gazette articles I find Burlington to be just as it was when I left. LOL.

        I suggest spreading rumours, assumptions, innuendo, speculation is not exhibiting being informed. Being informed means one deals in facts. Certainly Elan and others have opinions and are entitled to them. But having an opinion does not entitle one pass off rumour, assumptions, innuendo, speculation as fact. Mr. Thomson is right to call it out.

        The Gazette at times, and all too often many of those that comment here, spread or
        accept rumour, innuendo, speculation as fact.


        “Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is not a party to the complaint but is believed to have been very active in getting the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner.”

        A totally unsubstantiated statement made by the Gazette offered as quasi fact.

        Editor’s note:
        It is a fact but the people who made the comment – and there was more than several do not want their names used.

        • Dave Turner

          Editor. Perhaps the Gazette might then in future follow the journalistic practice and attribute such comments to anonymous sources so as to give better context.

          Editor’s note: Good point – would you be comfortable with three people insisting their comments be anonymous. By the way – I spoke to the three individually.

  • Penny Hersh

    Roland, you were brave enough to say what most were thinking. Kudos

  • My comment was actually juvenile and unhelpful, and I deleted it couple of hours after I posted it on my personal Facebook account. I should have made my points without descending into ad hominem attacks or guesswork.

    Please see my apology to the people concerned in:

    • Bruce Leigh

      You know what Mr Tanner? It’s good that you saw the error in publicly posting as you did, and that you withdrew it and apologized to those you irrationally criticized. But I note you did not apologize for critizing the two councilors for taking the prescribed action to report a suspected breach of the City’s confidentiality rules by Stolte.

      I don’t believe you have apologized for taking a completely incorrect position.

      So I suggest, Mr Tanner, you make a public apology for describing the very correct and proper behaviour of Councilors Nisan and Galbraith as a disgrace, and state that in fact it was wrong of Councilor Stolte to breach the confidentiality rules as she did.

  • Bruce Leigh

    Let me first reiterate that I very much support Councilor Stolte’s desire for and aim to achieve more transparency in the protocols and procedures for Council to go into closed session. I also agree with Stolte as much information as possible should always be placed in the public domain.

    However, I am amazed that tge Gazette, Tanner, mayoral candidate Marsden, Hersh and many other commentators to this publication support Councillor Stolte’s breaking confidentiality rules in the furtherance of her noble goal. Basically all of them saying the end justifies the end. Slippery slope.

    How many of those supporting Stolte breaking the rules would be ok with their lawyer or accountant breaking their oath of confidentiality to provide their private information to say CRA or other unwelcome governmental agency?

    My guess is none would welcome that.

    Mayoral candidate Marsden who at the drop of a hat criticizes the Mayor and councilors for in her view not following set down procedures and protocols some how finds it ok for Stolte to in this instance break those procedures and protocols. Mind boggling !

    • Denise W.

      Accountants, may disclose if obligated by law. And their code of conduct behooves them not to be gossipy. Lawyers are different and you cannot make an apples to apples comparison.

      What does get my attention, is that whistle blower protection are written for corporations, so maybe the city will qualify in that regard, but other nuances still get in the way.

      But…. it is entirely elective as to what punitive action might be taken, if any. And I sincerely hope none is.

      • Bruce Leigh

        Denise, Councilor Stolte was not blowing the whistle on anyone or anything. If fact Councilors Nisan and Galbraith blew the whistle on Councilor Stolte’s breach of confidentiality rules and teported so to the Integrity Commissioner. Stolte is not a victim. She committed a breach of the City’s confidentiality rules. Irregardless of her aims, she broke the rules. Plain and simple!

  • Any democratically minded person who knows the gist of this issue cannot help but rant along with Roland Tanner. The Courts would side with Stolte too, you cannot use a confidentiality clause to stop those with integrity exposing what goes on behind closed doors that affects the public interest in a major way. The confidentiality clause needs to be re-written by someone other than the city lawyer to protect those who won`t be gagged and instead do what they have to in order to protect the public interest. Again we say send this to a Special Council Meeting and open up the lectern to delegates, it is clearly the right time to do that in fact it is long past due!

    • Jim Thomson

      How do you know that the courts would side with Stolte?
      The only way to know what a court will decide is to take it to court.