"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 18 June 2013

A Decision Consistent in its Main Respect

Mayor Hazel Mc Callion  has dodged the bullet  for the seined time. Although the Judge  was severely  critical of her actions . The penalty of being unseated from office and ineligible to hold office has once  again failed to be imposed. 

Is anyone surprised? 

On Thursday, the Supreme Court will  decide whether  to hear an appeal  of a previous decision not to unseat Mayor Rob Ford from the office to which he was elected..

An election for  Mayoralty in Toronto would  cost $9 million .

OF course  Toronto taxpayers would pay. 

Sp who woud really bear the penalty ?

Rob Ford's  crime was apparently speaking against the decision of  Toronto's Integrity Commissioner that the Mayor should return donated funds  in the amount of $3,300 .

"Hpw can I do that" asked the Mayor. "The money is already spent for the purpose it was raised." 

What he should  have said was, there is no authority for the Integrity Commissioner to impose penalties under the Code Of Conduct legislation.

No offense can be charged under the Code of Conduct Bylaw. 

No penalties  can be imposed.. 

The Bylaw cannot be enforced  like other Municipal Bylaws. 

No  penalties have been imposed under the Conflict of Interest legislation, Even when a Conflict was found. As  in the case of a former Mayor of East Gwillimbury. he judge said yes, he did have a conflict but he didn;t intend it. 

The Province does not enforce the legislation. 

Responsibility  for enforcement rests with a private citizen. 

Private resources are required to be expended. 

Under the adversarial system of law, a citizen who takes the action  must defend himself against nefarious intent./

Where is the integrity or the moral compass in ay of this>? 

I think the judiciary have decided they should not do what the Province has  itselfg elected not to do . 

There was a day when  voters took care of the problem  or ot as they so  chose in an election. They still do. But the opportunity  comes but once in four years. 

Another example of short-sighted legislation. 


Anonymous said...

Montreal Mayor steps down.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think the Judge in Hazel's case dealt with costs ? That might mean that she has to try & get them from the guy who made the accusations. If the Judge felt she had, indeed, been wrong, the costs might be denied?
Sorry if that sounds confusing. I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

The situation in Mississauga involving Hazel McCallion and possible conflicts resulted in a Judicial Inquiry.

Mr. Justice Douglas Cunningham conducted this and submitted his report in early October, 2011.

In it he made more than two dozen recommendations, with respect to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Municipal Act.

In fairness to elected officials he suggested that the present wording was too harsh as it called for the unseating of an official found guilty. This is initially what happened to Ford in Toronto until the Court of Appeals overturned the original judge's decision. Cunningham suggested various levels of sanction, to be left to the discretion of the judge hearing an Application.

The way the Conflict of Interest Act is worded it is the responsibility of an individual elector, at his/her own time and expense, both of which can be extremely onerous, to file an application against an elected official. This would probably eliminate 99.5% of the population and hence virtually eliminates an application from being filed.

This goes completely against the requirements of transparency and ACCOUNTABILITY that are at the very heart of a democratic government.

Mr. Justice Cunningham recommended that applications should be permitted to be filed through the office of the Attorney General. This would remove the financial burden to individual electors and even out the playing field.

It should also be noted that most municipalities carry liability insurance coverage to foot the cost of an elected official having to defend against an application.

It seems idiotic that an elector must personally finance an action against someone whose costs are not personal.

It is obvious from the lack of activity on the part of the provincial government that it does not seem to care whether electors (voters) have a reasonable opportunity to hold elected officials to account.

Yet this same government has just introduced draft legislation dealing with SLAPP litigation. The latter are nowhere near as common an occurrence as conflicts of interest, which appear to happen with regularity.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry,
Evelyn. I tried very hard to listen to that meeting but the sound made it impossible. Checking around, I found that I was not hearing-impaired. Lots of others had the same trouble. I gave up after failing to figure out what the vote was on the Heritage project with the 3 old houses. Sorry. You'll have to fill us in on wins &/ or losses.

Anonymous said...


Could you please find out how a Notice of Action was apparently filed by Mr. O'Melia on December 14, 2012, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kitchener, and was launched against the Town of Aurora on June 7?

This seems like an awfully long time for a few pieces of paper to travel a relatively short distance.

Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

The sound on tonight's live stream of the GC was terrible.

Very loud and almost impossible to understand a word. Like one and a half voices talking at the same time.

Is there no way to check this from the Town Hall?

Anonymous said...

The comparisons between Rob Ford and Justin Trudeau are mind boggling.
Rob Ford leaves council meeting to volunteer to coach boys football versus Justin Trudeau leaving Parliament to get PAID tens of thousands to speak to various groups.
RF has a conflict of interest charge for using official letterhead to solicit funds (3K)for his football teams and pockets none. JT as Liberal Education Critic criss-crosses the country speaking to universities,school boards, and teacher unions and get paid 20K/ 30K a speech and pockets the money. No conflict here, let alone the optics of subverted campaign donations.
So I ask which one is worthy of front page Toronto Media coverage? Lets just say Toronto's Media coverage has its biases.

Anonymous said...

5:09 AM
I'm not getting into a big fuss with you. But will point out only that Trudeau cleared all his engagements before hand with the people who are supposed to make the call on possible conflicts. Just saying as I have no bias on either Ford or Trudeau.

Anonymous said...

The Star
" PM's office sends financial details of Trudeau's speech to newspapers "

Anonymous said...

"The comparisons between Rob Ford and Justin Trudeau are mind boggling."

Very true, 5:09 AM...but not in the way you mean.

Anonymous said...

"Lets just say Toronto's Media coverage has its biases."

You just realized this???

Anonymous said...

That Grace outfit who demanded the $ back from Trudeau shot themselves in the foot. They failed to sell the tickets & broke their contract with Trudeau. Really bad publicity for them. They look incompetent. Imagine if the Centre asked for money returned by one of their speakers because they couldn't sell the event.

Anonymous said...

Two Conservatives, Jacques Demers & Larry Smith, also earn speaking fees.