The Court case the Mayor refers to doesn't pass the smell test

By Pepper Parr

August 10th, 2023



The following came in from the City’s Communications department.

Thank you for your patience. The court ruled that the property owner was convicted for ‘Failure to remove and destroy all noxious weeds on the property’. The trial in this matter was held on January 26, 2022 and judgment/sentencing was issued February 4, 2022. 

Should you wish to obtain further information on the case, including copies of the transcripts or court documents, you can do so by contacting Halton Court Services (HCS).

Further details on this process can be found here:

Easier said than done: Send them $100 deposit and wait three months for the data.

  1. Complete a Digital Court Recording Order Form.
  2. Prepare a minimum deposit of $100 for the time of ordering.
  3. Submit your order form and pay the deposit amount by email at or in-person at our provincial offences office.
  4. We will contact you when the digital audio recording is complete and ready for in-person pickup. This is usually within three months of ordering. We will also provide information on any balance or refund that may be owed. Refunds are given in cash when you pick up your recording.

It was a pleasure to get back information this detailed.

Maintain the agenda, keep the spin.

Something to pay attention to.  Note that the were convicted of failing to remove”noxious weeds” on their property.

We don’t believe there has been any suggestion that the plants on the Barnes property were noxious.  In the very unlikely event that some of the plant life was noxious – Karen Barnes would have removed it instantly – no one would have to direct her to do so.

This should not be seen as a reflection on the communications people; it would appear that the Mayor has put a spin the Court decision that supports her agenda on this issue.

Related news story:

Mayor refers to a Court case to support her position.

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5 comments to The Court case the Mayor refers to doesn’t pass the smell test

  • Gary Scobie

    The deeper into the weeds (pun intended) we get in this bylaw “enforcement” issue of a naturized garden, the scarier it gets. The court case in question was a year and a half ago according to the article! The garden butchering by the City was in June of 2023. Is there so much more than meets the eye here or is it simply a judgement and communication issue gone horribly wrong.

    The more “explaining” that appears just seems to muddy the waters further, like the runoff from the lost garden to the sidewalk when we get a hard rain. My city saddens me further each day and I’m not sure what a citizen can do anymore to lessen that sadness.

    • Blair Smith

      Gary – I couldn’t agree more. I, for one, am going to start a naturalized butterfly/bee garden along the side and front of my fence. Perhaps, those who believe that ‘as the bees go so do we’ might want to follow suit. Who knows – it’s possible that Burlington might become the naturalized garden capital of Ontario.

  • Given these courts deal with provincial offences as well as bylaw offences and bylaws are quashed in Ontario Courts transcripts should be available through designated transcription services the same as other courts dealing with Provincial legislation matters. Ontario Courts stopped producing Transcripts years ago. We regularly order and get Transcripts from a registered transcript service who request and receive the Court recording.. You do have to pay in advance and pay more for same day but never have to wait 3 months, one week tops in our experience. We will be having a conversation with Natalie on this it should be the same process in all Courts.

  • Jim Thomson

    So did bylaw just get around to enforcing a court order from 2022, or is this a new offence?
    The Mayor and Co aren’t making it easy for the public to find out. So much for transparency and accountability.

  • Joseph Gaetan

    Having waded through the Halton Court Services web presence, I would say forget it. Use of the word “services” is a bit of a stretch. Example” Obtain a Transcript Order Form for Defendants or Transcript Order Form for Paralegals by contacting Absent is a drop-down menu for other interested parties. Not much “transparency” to be found here. Having had to prepare a case commentary in the past, I am glad it was not for this close-to-home case.