Why do we continue to publish the rant ?

By Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2022



A number of readers have questioned the frequent publishing of a particularly nasty piece of behaviour on the part of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

The Gazette went to some effort to clean up the visual part of the 14 minute event at a council meeting in June.  The meeting was virtual and at the time the Mayor was not in the Council Chamber – she was in London Ontario to celebrate the graduation of her daughter.

We left in every word that was said by everyone: the Mayor, the City Clerk who was having some difficulty maintaining order and Councillor Shawna Stolte who was arguing that she had the right to determine when she would read out an apology.

Her choice was to read the apology at the end of the Council meeting during member comments – which are not debatable

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward chairing a virtual Council meeting from London, Ontario

Mayor Meed Ward had decided to re-arrange the agenda, which she had the authority to do.

Those who have been critical of our decision to publish that segment of the Council meeting are the kind of people who ask – why do we constantly talk about the Holocaust?

We talk about the unmarked graves found at the residential school locations where Indigenous children were sent to – some didn’t get to go home.

When there is unacceptable behaviour, and we have yet to hear anyone say there was anything good about what the Mayor said, it has to be made public and made part of the public record.

If politicians get away with this kind of thing once – they will do it again.

The public has to speak up and speak out – and they can’t do that if they don’t know.

Informed people can make informed decisions.  I personally wonder if every voter in the city knew of the behaviour would the election results have been the same.

The unfortunate part of the election result is that none of the people who ran for the office of Mayor were capable of doing the job. Meed Ward brings a set of skills to the job that no one else came anywhere near what she can do.

It is the downside of her behaviour that is troubling.

I don’t think anyone wants their Mayor to behave the Marianne Meed Ward did last June.

Listen  HERE  and tell me – you see this as acceptable?

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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9 comments to Why do we continue to publish the rant ?

  • Cathy

    The Gazette endlessly links to the video, but after all this time…less than 300 views. The Gazette sees something in the exchange many of us don’t see. What I see is Stolte as hot-headed and rudely cutting off her colleague and storming out of the meeting like a child. I can’t imagine Stolte is thrilled this video keeps getting trotted out.

    As the Gazette fixates on this non-issue, it ignores the devastating actions taken by the Ford government that is undermining our hospitals, schools and local governments. Ford and his crew are stripping Halton Region of its planning powers, stripping Conservation Halton’s ability to control permitting of development on regulated areas, flipping Paletta land from employment to housing zoning; reducing developer fees which will be downloaded to taxpayers, denying the right of citizens to appeal decisions at the OLT, destroying the last remnants of Canada’s prime farmland for sprawl, and colluding with PC party donors who somehow knew to snap up parcels of Greenbelt land the government is now planning to remove from protection.

    Never mind their action to negotiate in bad faith with school unions by using the notwithstanding clause to override enshrined Charter rights.

    Gazette, get a grip and pay attention to what matters. And by the way, connecting this incident to residential schools and the Holocaust only trivializes these horrifying chapters in human history. Don’t do that, it’s offensive.

  • Denise W.

    This is part of why The Burlington Gazette is so popular and well read. Even by those who (claim) they don’t like it.

    The Editor brings us a variety of local news stories and makes them interesting and relevant to our lives. Not just city politics. But the local art scene, local sports, local entertainment and even local crime. The Editor puts sizzle in the stories and digs for how it affects us and is relevant to us.

    The Burlington Gazette fills a void left by others. In a communications studies course I was shown how there are too many “news repeaters” and not news reporters. The repeaters just copy what is put out on various websites. Repeating press releases, and stopping there. The reporters may start with some news release but then dig for more. The who, what, where, when, why and how. The after effects, the actual cost and how it impacts the local citizenry, the readers themselves. Old school approach and the harder way of doing things, but I think it is the better way.

    Disclaimer: I don’t know Pepper other than that I understand he is the editor.

  • Penny Hersh

    Let’s not forget that only 27% of residents voted in this municipal election.

    If this council feels that it was a victory, I have to question their thinking. At the very least they should acknowledge that the low voter turnout was a wakeup call to do better to not only engage but actually listen to what residents are saying.

    For those residents who think that people did not vote because they were happy with the status quo I would suggest they rethink this as well.

    Unfortunately the incumbents had a huge advantage because there were very few public debates as well as the fact that it takes money and a “village” to help those entering into the political arena.

    It was the “perfect storm”.

    • Bob

      If only 27% voted that equates to 2 out of 3 people didn’t vote, so out of the 6 comments, 4 should have no say.
      History shows that the latest voter turnouts for any election are when the citizens want change. The fact that the turnout was a record of non voters to myself shows the electorate was content with the status quo

      Editor comment: I think this is a simplistic conclusion. I suggest the low turnout was due to the quality of the candidates that chose to run for office. There were two that had merit; the others either didn’t know what the job was about (the high school teacher who thought he could still teach and serve on council) or they saw it as a good job with a good salary.

      • Dave Turner

        I agree with you Bob. I think the Editor has it wrong. I think people stayed home because they were neither unhappy with their councilor nor with their mayor.

        As respects your other comment here in response to Marsden, I understood what the Editor was saying as regards to his Holocaust comment. But again he has absolutely no foundation or evidence to substantiate that comment. But it is his opinion to which he is entitled.

        Likely this comment will not be published being that it goes counter to the Editor’s view.

  • perryb

    The Mayor was a bad girl, and may or may not regret it. But, “opinion” or not, comparing indifference to this to Holocaust denial is beyond the pale.

    • Perry read it again. It was not compared to the Holocaust. The comparison was with people who say do we have to keep talking about it. There would have been no Holocaust if people had listened and acted on the warning signs of what was coming, this included the Christian communities who turned their backs on those who tried to stop it. Winston Churchill being one who went against so many people to have the truth recognized.

      “The Mayor was a bad girl” is being admitted by those such as yourselves because the evidence repeatedly placed before you shows she was. What about all those situations where the evidence has not yet been placed before your eyes but still exists in terms of the opposite of the requirement of well-being and best interests of taxpayers as is required for Council decisions – do those who have the evidence of such shrug their shoulders as did those who knew we buried our Indigenous children in unmarked graves so the crimes against them were not known. We all need to be very grateful for those like Winston Churchill who refused to budge from his position and repeated it ad nauseum until Hitler was destroyed and we could learn the truth of the extent of the evil one man could be responsible for.

      Sir Winston became the man of the Century a well-earned title. Perhaps someone like Pepper who keeps banging away at the issue of having a mayor who publicly behaves like this (so what does she do when not in in public) may some day be able to feel thankful that he took the advice we follow: “Never, never, never give up.” when the well-being and best interests of your community are at stake.

      • Bob

        Nowhere was there any preamble to the mayors behaviour so to equate the holocaust where no one listened or acted prior to it happening to this situation is totally wrong. Full stop!
        Pepper was wrong to compare the mayors little tantrum to Hitler is 100% wrong.
        For you or anyone to condone this antisemitism comparison is also wrong, no matter one’s feelings on the mayors behaviour.

        Editor’s note: It wasn’t a comparison – it was a suggestion that those who want to avoid having to think about what their Mayor did were like the people who say that the holocaust never happened. And please do not accuse me of any form of antisemitism.

  • Pamela Cowan

    Totally unacceptable from a “professional “???!