Who Gets Special Consideration At City Hall?


One of the themes of The Bulldog is that too many councillors are compromised by donations to their campaigns from special interest groups.

Think this is an exaggeration? Read this story from former Citizen colleague Joanne Chianello, now at CBC:

As (Mayor Jim Watson) pointed out, people are allowed to lobby for their personal property. And neither council, nor city staff, should take lightly their power to limit what people can do with their homes and land.

However, that consideration doesn’t always appear to be meted out evenly. Even the mayor admits it.

“I suspect probably there would have been less discussion if it was a less well-known family, to be perfectly honest,” said Watson.

And that may very well be a suspicion shared by many other city hall watchers.

To read the whole story, click here.


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3 thoughts on “Who Gets Special Consideration At City Hall?

  1. It’s probably no big surprise to many people that some people are more ‘equal’ than others when they approach city hall. It is unusual for a politician to admit it, though. They usually vociferously deny that people or companies who make donations to their election campaigns or through ‘sponsorships’ of their ward/city activities get any kind of favourable attention when they come before committees or Council.
    The follow-up question then is what Watson does to stop that favourable attention from happening. He has an obligation to ensure that he and Council operate ethically. Is he doing that? Did he question Council at the time about the different treatment they were giving this particular planning application?
    On another point, perhaps it would be useful to have a list of the related lobbying activity attached to the report that goes to Council so we can evaluate the interventions made by councillors.

    1. The Voter,
      Ken started a discussion a while back about conflict of interest. There will always be conflicts of interest when people refuse to understand that taking gifts, donations and doing lunch are all set-ups for conflicts of interest. It takes a truly honest person to recognize the potential/perceived conflict and back away.

      I have never met too many pols that recognize the trap,but I’ve met many that relish in it.

  2. Ken,
    There you go again. You are such a generous and gracious man to use the word “compromised”. Other terms come to my mind.


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