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What is private information and what is public information: Where you ward councillor lives appears to be private.

By Pepper Parr

August 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Has the issue of personal privacy gone a little too far or is it that the City Clerk doesn’t understand the job he has.

A candidate for public office has asked the City Clerk for a copy of Form 1 – the document that every candidate for public office has to complete when filing their nominations.

The candidate was told that the form could not be released because there was private information on the form; one of which is the candidates address.

A portion of the nomination form

Does that mean that a voter does not get to know if the candidate running in the ward actually lives in the ward.  For many people – this is a defining issue – ‘if you don’t live here how can you represent me?’

The disturbing part of this situation is that all the data is archived and on line.

Set out below is a list of the forms that can be accessed.  Data for the current election is of course not yet archived..

The location on the provincial web site for archived municipal election data.. Nothing private.

At the end of an election every person who was on the ballot is required to file a Financial report setting out how much money they spent and where that money came from and to provide the donors address.

Nicholas Leblovic serving as Chair of the Waterfront Advisory Committee that was sunset by the city. Leblovic was not a happy camper

During the 2018 campaign Nicholas Leblovic, 126 Birett Drive, Burlington L7L 2S9 donated  $80.00 on 2018-07-24,

He had previously donated  $500 on 2018-05-05 from 1335 Ontario Street, Unit 11, Burlington, ON

It is all public information.

Full disclosure: Leblovic once sued the Gazette, that was known as Our Burlington at the time.  He sued the company, the publisher and the Directors for $1 million – then failed to follow through on his Statement of Claim

Quite why the City Clerk has an issue with releasing a copy of the nomination information is a little more puzzling.

There are other issues on getting information from city hall.  A planner appears to have told a citizen that he could get information that used to be on the city web site by filing a Freedom of Information request.  It usually takes some time to get these applications processed and there is often a fee involved – a very stiff fee at times.

Anne Marsden is a candidate for Mayor in the October municipal election.  She points out that the nomination documents are available for inspection and copies are available. They just will not publish on line because, we were told they have address information on. These are public documents that can be obtained if requested so why not publish on line so folks can see everything is above board with the nomination papers.

Our question stands:  Does anyone who wants to see the papers have to trot down to city hall to look at what is public information.  There is something in the water at city hall that makes some of the people who toil there do really really stupid things.

 

 

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2 comments to What is private information and what is public information: Where you ward councillor lives appears to be private.

  • For those who wonder why we missed a 2018 nomination paper audit we were prevented from undertaking this audit by the city manager James Ridge and by the fact that the nomination papers were not on line. Ridge also without any authority pulled our audit results from the February 2, 2017 Audit Committee after the Chair, Councillor Taylor advised we would be presenting a finalized audit at that meeting see Dec 2016 Audit Committee webcast. That is why we will continue to insist Nomination Papers need to be posted. Burlington taxpayers dont generally have the means to take city hall on in the Courts and should be able to review Nomination Papers online.

    The 2014 nomination paper results posted as an ad at a cost of $800 by the Burlington Post but not commented on at all, will at some point be posted on the ALERTS page of marsdens.ca. City Hall cannot deny the accuracy of these results or take us on in Court as if there was anything wrong with them they would surely have filed a statement of claim against us back when we published in 2017. The reason for the delay in publlishingi is we were refused information that affected the audit criteria until after our appearance at the Dec 2016 Audit Committee…

    The sad part of this particular city hall “shenanigan” is three people responsible are still in charge of two municipalities elections with the most responsible person remaining in a very high paying job at city hall. Even sadder is the fact that several other audits are waiting in the wings that according to the procedure by-law it is the duty of the Audit Committee to address. Instead the Audit Committee spends its time receiving and filing audits that are placed on the Consent agenda to prohibit any discussion by current Chair Lisa Kearns. They have all felt their secrets are safe as no-one except the Marsdens take an interest or have the qualifications to call them out on these issues – see home page of marsdens.ca .

    That is one of the number one priorities for Anne running and doing her very best to be elected Mayor and thus Chief Execurive Officer. That is why we are encouraging people to cast fully informed votes. Elections to us belong in the sacred category given the millions who died protecting thoss rights. Before anyone asks we took the issues to Karina Gould who claimed that it was none of her business as Minister of Democratic Institutions.

  • Correction Pepper. Inspection and copies are available. They just will not publish on line because, we were told they have address information on. These are public documents that can be obtained if requested so why not publish on line so folks can see everything is above board with the nomination papers unlike 2014 which was the subject of a report to the Decem 2016 audit committee. Our delegation is still available to see along with the Council one that asked why our draft report was missing from the Council Report. The current internal auditor was a member of the Committee at the time. We are currently auditing the 2022 nom papers and will report on this compared to the 2014 audit.

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