Stern thinks the Mayor has failed to properly present her budget to the public - intends the challenge Council a second time

By Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2023



Eric Stern’s last delegation raised the issue of whether the Mayor’s budget meets the Municipal Act requirements.

Eric Stern expects to delegate at City Council today. He might get a rough ride.

Stern contends that expecting citizens to map the changes stated in the mayor’s proposed budget into the table on page 728 of the staff budget requires hours of work and does not meet the OMA’s (Ontario Municipal Act) requirement to state estimated expenses. By making this so complex the city has denied citizens the opportunity to easily review the budget.

It is also apparent that the mayor did not propose a budget but merely listed some changes to the city’s budget.

“This raises the issue of risk that some clever cookie will file a judicial review that the city budget is “ultra vires” i.e. without authority. A matter that the Burlington Ombudsman can decide if asked.”

While proven to be wrong on how she has interpreted the Strong Mayor Powers she has Mayor Meed Ward is sticking to her guns.

Staff will merge the changes approved by council and issue an updated document and that will make the above sentence moot. I bet the updated document will be presented at the start of tomorrows meeting.

From what I have read the Ontario ombudsman will not repeal legislation that council has passed. Do we know if the Burlington Ombudsman has this power?

This has been the most challenged budget we have seen in the 12 years we have covered city council.


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