As many of you know, the compliance committee process has reached an end, with the decision of the compliance committee on a number of matters. One of these matters, became an application concerning my campaign finances when I ran for Ward 10 Councillor.
Throughout the time that this matter unfolded, I responded to each media request I received-the lion’s share of which came from The Hamilton Spectator. I thought it proper to allow other media to cover this and not to speak about it here on The Hamiltonian, given that I am the Publisher.
As the matter has now been decided, and the committee has concluded that a compliance audit is not warranted in my case, I am at ease with writing about this in The Hamiltonian.
I believe that the compliance committee ultimately arrived at the right decision, with regard to not proceeding to a compliance audit, where my campaign finances are concerned but I had grave concerns with the process; both, in my case and in the other cases that went before them.
My concerns grew as I learned that during one of Ms. Viv Saunders' applications concerning a councillor, a committee member told the councillor that she need not speak because he already knew that she had done nothing wrong. This highly prejudicial statement did not belong in the proceedings and assails the integrity of the process. I also became concerned when Ms. Joanna Chapman was informed by a compliance committee member that because a candidate was not successful in their election bid, that they were not subject to penalties. That statement was blatantly wrong and it makes one wonder if the committee members were duly skilled and informed to be hearing these matters.
In my case, and briefly, I provided a complete Form 4 package and ticked off indicators on the Form 4, that signalled that an additional schedule and charts were attached. Somehow, one schedule and two charts were not scanned and uploaded to the city’s website. This was beyond my control and seemingly, a result of human error. I am not assigning blame, but certainly I would imagine that people are people and are not infallible, even if you work at City Hall. We all make mistakes. Further, it would be completely illogical for me to check off boxes on my Form 4 stating that materials were attached, reference the information in those attachments throughout my Form 4 submission and factor them in the calculations, and yet not provide them.
In terms of the matter of my campaign deficit, I calculated it correctly, in accordance with the guide and cited the references throughout the guide that supported my calculation. This calculation, and my entire Form 4 submission was verified by an independent Chartered Professional Accountant, who provided his report accordingly. Upon receipt of the application, I presented the application to the independent Chartered Professional Accountant, and had him re-review my Form 4 and supporting materials in light of the application. He again confirmed that I was in complete compliance and provided a letter stating so, that I provided to the committee.
I intend to inform the public of the proceedings in my case more thoroughly, but in short, I am glad we have the safeguard of an audit compliance committee in the system. However, I am disappointed in the manner in which these proceedings were executed. There is room for significant improvement. Stay tuned.
Publisher, The Hamiltonian