Burlington councillor disciplined for disclosing confidential information


Published April 18, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Burlington city hall power mayor politics

An investigation by Burlington’s integrity commissioner is recommending a short suspension of pay for a City councillor.

As a result of an investigation, the commissioner found that Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte breached Burlington council’s code of conduct by discussing matters surrounding the cost of purchasing and redeveloping the former Robert Bateman High School.

The commissioner essentially ruled these matters were supposed to be kept confidential.

Punishment for Stolte is the suspension of her pay for five days, this amounts to approximately $1,000.

The investigation was launched following complaints by two other Burlington councillors, Kelvin Galbraith of Ward 1 and Rory Nisan of Ward 3.

In the integrity commissioner’s report, it was pointed out that Burlington council’s code of conduct “holds in strict confidence all information concerning matters dealt with in closed council meetings, matters subject to solicitor client privilege, personal information, or information that is otherwise determined to be confidential.”

In her defence, Stolte argued, among other reasons, that the City’s provisions on secrecy constrain her ability to engage the public in matters being considered by council and that, on occasion, closed session meetings are used to inappropriately obscure or block public knowledge and awareness of matters being considered and that better standards are needed for transparency.

The integrity commissioner’s report indicates that information about the cost and redevelopment of the school was revealed to be $50 million and that asbestos was found at the site of the school that closed in 2020.

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