The Integrity Commissioner report that will be read out at the City Council meeting on Tuesday had its genesis way back in February.

By Pepper Parr

April 17th, 2022



A reader corrected us on the matter of the Closed Meeting Investigator hired to review and report on the practices used in Burlington.

We watched the archived February 15th meeting of Council which you can look at yourself using the link below.

Mayor Meed Ward during the February 15 session of Council

What is especially interesting is the Mayor’s body language; the Stolte comment on how an

amendment had come forward and the explanation from the city manager on what was to happen.

The amendment that was put forward came from Councillor Nisan, there apparently wasn’t any notice given that there was going to be an amendment.  In commenting on his own amendment Nisan is clearly reading from prepared notes.

Aird & Berlis the law firm retained to serve as the Closed Meeting Investigator, is certainly a solid, if conservative group. They are not known for innovative solutions to issues – but they are sound. If there is even a hint that there are flaws in the practices in Burlington – it could be seen as time for the current City Solicitor to move on.

The Gazette has been criticized for the stand it takes on some senior members of the current administration.

Take the eight minutes and decide for yourself what is actually happening.

Put the lines below into your browser.

That will get you to the calendar and the meeting of the 15th of February.

Scroll to the bottom of the calendar to  the line that reads:  Revised Agenda.

That will bring up the Agenda – scroll down to item 12g which is set out below.

Staff direction regarding closed meeting protocol (CSSRA-02-22) (SD-04-22)

Click on that and watch for the next 8 minutes.  You can quit when Councillors Kearns begins to ask about how the service provider (Aird & Berlis) was chosen.

Realize that at this point, February 15th, Nisan and Galbraith had already filed their complaint with the Integrity Commissioner – so the blood was in the water at this point.

The item on the agenda for Tuesday April 18th is set out below.  It will not be discussed in a Closed session.  Unfortunately, the time frames are such that there may not be any delegations.

If you are interested and have some comment that can add to what is taking place  – do delegate.




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6 comments to The Integrity Commissioner report that will be read out at the City Council meeting on Tuesday had its genesis way back in February.

  • Bonnie

    Interesting article in the Toronto Star today written by Shawn Micallef. The article talks about term limits in city council. ‘If a politician can’t effect change in eight years, why would another
    four or more help?’ If Meedward runs in the up coming election and is elected, she will be member of council for sixteen years. Perhaps it is time for change.

    Term limits could bring in fresh ideas to intractable problems.

    • Helen Donohoe

      Term limits are totally different at the three levels of government. City/municipal councillors are thrust into the hot seat and forefront of decision making right from day 1; there is no apprenticeship. They have to learn as they go along. Those elected as first-time MPs and to a degree, first-time MPPs can expect to spend considerable time on the back benches, learning how things work. I think it’s fair to say that many councillors need two terms, eight years, before being ready to consider running for mayor. So possibly two terms is enough for those with no ambitions beyond councillor, but that would have to be extended for those who feel ready for a run at the mayor’s job. Should a councillor, elected mayor then be limited to one term only? Our systems of government are complex.

  • Penny Hersh

    After listening to the video it was apparent from Councillor Stolte’s comments that she did not know that this amendment was coming. In the video she seemed totally surprised and then thanked everyone.

    I find it interesting that the one councillor who had been asking to look into the use of “closed sessions” would not have known that this amendment was to be on the agenda. The “sacrificial lamb being led to the slaughter” comes to mind.

    Tim Commisso in his comments on the subject touched on the fact that it was the city solicitor’s office who decided on what was acceptable to be discussed in closed session ( correct me if I am wrong). It has been reported that the city’s “closed session” practice is now being investigated.

    There is a saying ” Be careful what you wish for”. When you open a” Pandora’s Box” there tends to be consequences for all concerned.

    • Jim Thomson

      I find it strange that the councillor who has had issues with the closed sessions for over a year hasn’t referred any of issues to the closed meeting investigator.
      That’s how she should have gotten the issue onto the agenda for discussion. The Closed Meeting Investigator reports to council the same way that the Integrity Commissioner does.

      She claims to want to work collegially, but then questions the professional education of another councillor. She’s also going to hold her breath(vote against all closed meetings) until she gets the closed meeting protocol she wants.

  • Denise W.

    Painful to listen to the video. So many “uhms” and “ahs”. I had to stop listening. Just confirms to me that, education cuts do not heal. I have no tolerance for politics. I would like to think that if I was in the responsibility seat, as councilor Stolte is, I could acquit myself as well.

  • Bruce Leigh

    The item is unclear as to whether the sanction of 5 days’ pay is a total of 5 days or combined as a total of 10 days.

    As said previously it would be a good move for council to amend the penalty to a reprimand as to future conduct.