Update: See The Spec's coverage by clicking here or purchasing today's print version.
Update: The person who has filed these complaints, is Viv Saunders who is a resident in Ward 10. Ms. Saunders has chosen to reveal her identity.
The same person who had recently submitted for a compliance review pertaining to Maria Pearson's campaign funds, has made additional requests for reviews of the campaign finances of Chad Collins, Doug Conley, Lloyd Ferguson, Tom Jackson, Sam Merulla, Robert
Pasuta and Terry Whitehead.
The following is a media release received by The Hamiltonian:
Yesterday afternoon at @ 1:30 p.m., applications were filed with the City Clerk
for compliance audits for the campaign finances of: Chad Collins, Doug Conley,
Lloyd Ferguson, Tom Jackson, Sam Merulla, Robert Pasuta and Terry Whitehead. These are in addition to last
week's application for Maria Pearson.
(the not so brief) STATEMENT FROM
At this time, the applicant's preference is to be
unidentified in the media. Council, Committee and various city staff have this
information on file and it will be made part of the public record but I
personally feel who filed is insignificant. This was an extremely difficult
decision and hasn't been made lightly. A lot of research has been conducted and
a lot of discussions occurred with supportive confidants.
I would like
to be perfectly clear that my personal opinions as to whom I may respect or not;
and/or whom I may feel are not/are diligent in their duties has in no way
influenced my decision to submit or not submit these applications. In my
opinion, that approach just wouldn't be right.
I'm sure there will be
chatter and presumptions made about why some and why not others. On the
surface, it might appear that some are "not as bad as others" so why bother?
Imo, "Not as bad" is setting the bar too low.
I approached this
methodically when looking at all the candidates financial
First, Did I think
a contravention occurred?
If yes, Do I believe contravention(s)
illustrated a blatant disregard for the spirit of the Municipal Elections Act
and the letter of the law?
If yes, I chose to submit an
If no or possibly to above,
a. Do I believe the
contraventions may have resulted in a greater surplus (paid to the City) or a
lesser deficit (that candidate can carry forward)? or,
b. Do I
believe the contravention is one of the two more serious offences that are
subject to penalties (excluding my personal opinion on intent)
some councillors were emailed asking them for further details; others were not
based on the volume of contraventions I perceived. For the latter, I chose to
submit an application.
If still questionable to me, Did I believe, on the face of the filings , it is likely the perceived contravention
was probably an error in judgment. In other words, did I feel that an audit
request might be a fishing expedition; which is not the intent of the Act and
that I personally would not be comfortable with.
If yes, I chose to not submit an application.
wrong, or debatable, at the end of the day, I'm the one who had to be of the
strong opinion further resources should be spent on an unbiased Auditor's Report
for the candidates that I've decided to submit applications for. There is
nothing preventing any other eligible elector from filing a Request (by the end
of the day tomorrow) or bypassing the Committee and going direct to the Courts
with respect to an alleged contravention.
It is now out of my hands and
up to the Elections Compliance Committee how to proceed.
advised by the Clerk's office that the Committee will likely convene sometime
during the week of July 6th for Maria Pearson's application. I have not been
advised if any of these additional ones will be on the agenda as
- The applicant
(As an aside, I was
disappointed and disheartened that only 1 media source chose to write about
Maria Pearson's application that I'm aware of - no tweeting, nothing online and
nothing in print.
disappointed because there was quite a bit written following the election about
an informed elector being a better elector. In
addition, there was quite a bit written about the candidate's Financials
Statements themselves when they were made public, as well as for the audit
request for Doug Conley; yet, ...hmmm,... makes one wonder.
I attended a Neighbours Working
Together discussion panel recently that was hosted by quite a few neighbourhood
associations. Afterwards, I was hopeful going forward there would be momentum
to engage all Hamiltonians; not just on issues in our own backyards but also on
issues in our communities, wards, and city.
I'm disheartened because I
think this is reflective of a deeper problem. We need to view ourselves as an
inclusive citizenry if we, together, can make positive changes and/or build on
the accomplishments in our city. Every area is unique. Every area has
differing resources and strengths. Every area has different needs and wants.
We need to understand these differences; respect them, and hopefully work
together for the betterment of everyone.
I know I sound
a little preachy, but I'm starting to believe the parochialism and obvious
infighting at Council won't end until we (the citizens) show we've come together
and we want it stopped. We need to start
caring more about each other, compromising, and above all listening to each
other in order to strike a balance between all our
Idealistic, yes. But does that mean we
The Hamiltonian reminds our readers that these matters are at the request stage and have yet to be heard.