Why Oakville Mayor removes Oakville Transit Election Advertising

Oakville Mayor Election Signage on Oakville Transit
Why Oakville Mayor removes Oakville Transit Election Advertising
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About the Author

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin is a Senior lawyer with over 20 years of experience in areas including Tax Law, Corporate/Commercial Law, Litigation, Tort Law, Securities Law and Employment Law. John has appeared before, or worked on files, at all levels of courts in Canada including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was also a Mayoral candidate in the 2014 Oakville Municipal Election receiving 24% of the vote.

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Mayor Burton recently sent out a Twitter feed enthusiastically showing his giant re-election signs – for Mayor – during the current 2014 Municipal Election, affixed to the side of an Oakville Transit Bus. Although Town Staff apparently made the Mayor remove those ads, only after a complaint was made, I am not certain that the Town of Oakville fully understood why the Mayor’s conduct – aside from being ill-advised and perhaps unfair – may also be problematic.

The Town of Oakville enacted a 2008 policy entitled “Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Board Members”, under the Municipal Act, 2001, regulating the behaviour and conduct of Town Council in several areas, including:

(a) use of Town property for personal gain,
(b) avoiding conflicts of interest (real or perceived),
(c) impartially performing their duties,
(d) being a party to a contract with the Town whereby they receive a benefit,
(e) prohibiting use of Town property for election related purposes.

In my view, re-election signs affixed to Oakville Transit buses, presumably to help secure Mayor Burton’s re-election bid, reflects poor judgment on the part of the Mayor and Oakville Transit. Not only is the Mayor expected to be aware of Council’s “Code of Conduct” policy, but Oakville residents presumably expect the highest standards of conduct and behaviour of every Member of Council – without even the appearance of any conflict or impropriety.

Another reason for prohibiting the Mayor’s bus ads on near empty Oakville Transit buses, albeit while busy emitting pollution and PM2 matter randomly into the air, is the impression that Oakville Transit – and the Town – may be implicitly endorsing or supporting the Mayor’s re-election bid, over every other mayoral candidate. The Town must be seen to be completely impartial and fair in this democratic election process – and it looks like they got the memo.

Note from the Editor: Rob Burton was contacted and given the same option to write for OakvilleNews.Org. OakvilleNews.Org neither endorses nor opposes any candidate. 

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. It’s not complicated – no election ads permitted on Town property – shouldn’t the Mayor know that?

     Reply
  2. Michael Maurice says:

    I am definitely ready for Burton to leave politics in this town.

     Reply



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