There are a lot of questions to be asked: are there going to be any answers from either Council or the Administration?

By Pepper Parr

April 14th, 2022



A matter of major significance is now going to be discussed in public at city council on Tuesday the 19th.

Getting it on the table has not been easy – there were far too many people at both the Council level and the administration level who wanted the Integrity Commissioner’s report discussed in a Closed Session of Council.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte

Councillor Stolte, the subject of the Integrity report, has to be recognized for taking the high road and setting out her position and the why of what she did. There are numerous concerns.

How will Council handle the report? The Integrity Commissioner will present the document and be on hand to answer questions.

Will the Councillors ask any questions?

And there are a lot of questions to be asked.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan above and ward 1 Councillor Kelven Galbraith

Of the two council members who filed the report: who approached who? Did Nisan call Galbraith or was it vice versa? Realize that Councillor Nisan doesn’t want to leave his home – Covid19 fears.

Councillors are seldom at their office in city hall this past year – so there is no opportunity for the kind of casual conversation and the open exchange of views and collaboration that Stolte sees as vital.

There is concern over an email that Stolte sent to a constituent – how did Nisan and Galbraith get their hands on that email?

Who influenced who at City Hall? What role did the City Manager play?

What role did the City Clerk play? What was the level of collusion between the Mayor and the City manager ?

Will there be public delegations?

Who is going to ask the hard questions?

There is an investigation underway by the Investigator of Closed meetings about the practices used in Burlington.

Does that report not have a bearing on what has taken place?

The meeting on the 19th is scheduled as a virtual meeting – which is unfortunate.

The calendar doesn’t’ work and permit genuine public participation. City Hall is closed Friday and Monday. The public saw the report for the first time at 6:00 am this morning.

It will take time to digest and understand what the issue is – and there is an issue.

People don’t gather as much as they used to – the current Covid19 wave is impacting a lot of people. Councillor Sharman is reported to have become infected.

The concern that many have is that the Integrity report will be read into the record and no one will ask any questions – hoping that is Council and the administration go mute and that this will then all just go away.

Democracy doesn’t work that way.

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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3 comments to There are a lot of questions to be asked: are there going to be any answers from either Council or the Administration?

  • James

    This doesn’t pass the sniff test. Think about it. Rory Nisan and Kelvin Galbraith are the Mayor’s most devoted cheerleaders and most easily influenced. Nisan won’t sneeze without making sure the Mayor is okay with it first. Galbraith doesn’t care enough to come up with this idea on his own. There’s more to this story. Follow the puppet strings.

  • Jim Thomson

    “There is concern over an email that Stolte sent to a constituent – how did Nisan and Galbraith get their hands on that email?”

    This was in the Integrity Commissioner Report. No great conspiracy. Nothing of concern.

    “• Her email, which was copied to all of Council, merely notified the constituent of the subject-matter so that the constituent could delegate the Committee on the matter”

  • Penny Hersh

    Perhaps residents need to file a complaint to the Integrity Commission concerning the scathing information that was released concerning the lack of transparency by the City in providing information concerning issues to be discussed in the “closed sessions” of Council.

    Residents have the right to be part of a discussion for example with the redevelopment of the Robert Bateman property. To put it mildly ” it is a big ticket item” that requires taxpayer dollars to redevelop this property. The proposed plan does not seem to include a community centre.

    Everyone knew that the Robert Bateman School contained asbestos. It was quite common in the 70’s that all new construction had asbestos.

    The question I pose once again is how did Councillors Nisan and Galbraith get access to information sent to a constituent by email?

    To get total transparency residents should be emailing or calling their councillors to make certain this happens. The public should be able to ask questions.