What a fractured City Council looks like

By Pepper Parr

May 29th, 2022



The negotiations taking place for the purchase of the Robert Bateman High School property is raising a lot of questions. The public want answers.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is doing what a good Mayor should do; take questions and give brief, to the point and informative answers
One of the questions the Mayor handled was as follows:

Q: I’ve seen reports in some media outlets that have said this acquisition will cost $50 million — is that true?

The Mayor replies:

This does not reflect the actual dollar figure.

Mayor Meed Ward

She them segways into a report from the Integrity Commissioner, who did find that information made during a public Council meeting was made public by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte for which she was docked five days pay.

What the sanctioning has to do with the question asked is hard to figure out.

The Mayor continues:

The following sections from the Integrity Commissioner report are relevant:

• [43] We find that the Councillor’s statement, although not actually disclosing real dollar amounts discussed in closed session, is fairly perceived as revealing confidential information, risks misleading the public, and compromises the ability of any other member of Council to contradict or correct the information.

• [44] The fact that the information does not reflect the specific actual dollar figure is not an answer which justifies the apparent breach. If such were the case, confidentiality of closed discussion could be breached with impunity simply by mis- stating facts and information subject to closed session deliberations.

• [45] Accordingly we find that the Councillor’s reference to an actual dollar figure, where by implication the only source of that information is closed session, constitutes a contravention of the confidentiality provisions of the Code.

The public wanted an answer on the cost of the purchase but the Mayor chose to deflect and blame the Council member for the public confusion.

It is this kind of behaviour that has resulted in a fractured council.

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3 comments to What a fractured City Council looks like

  • Jim Young

    We need to keep supporting Clr Stolte in the hope she will reconsider and run again. Folks from every ward need her voice on council. Let’s not allow one emotional decision to deprive us of an excellent representative

  • Jim Thomson

    How about the Mayor calling a “democratic” vote to keep the council meeting going rather than recess at 4 and resume at 6:30 as they normally do. This was after Councillor Stolte had indicated she had an issue with continuing when they were already over time at 4:13.
    Not sure what rules of procedure were being followed. The chair usually has to ask for a motion before calling a vote.
    Councillor Stolte left the meeting at the bio-break a that followed the “democratic” vote.

  • Joe Gaetan

    “This does not reflect the actual dollar figure.”, should have been the final statement that elaborated on the sensitvity of negotiations etc. Mud-slinging is never becoming.