Milton councillor wants support for holding elected officials to a higher standard
Milton councillor Sameera Ali is leading the charge to hold elected officials to the same standards as most employees.
Ali has thrown her support behind Bill 5, the Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act, a private members bill introduced by Liberal MPP Stephen Blais.
“The bill asks for the same rules to apply to elected politicians as they do to all other employees of the municipality,” said Ali.
Currently, elected politicians can’t be removed from office for things like harassing their colleagues or municipal staff. Even if found guilty by the integrity commissioner, the maximum allowable punishment is short suspensions without pay.
“There have been cases where politicians have been found guilty of harassment and this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated. Without consequences people can behave poorly.”
Ali said the lack of accountability can put victims in a spot where they have to go to media to get justice or publicize this behaviour.
“It’s such a big flaw in our system. These people can be reelected if constituents aren’t informed.”
Ali is hoping her motion will get unanimous support at both Town council as well as Halton Regional council.
“We need to make a strong statement and hopefully the provincial government will listen to us.”
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