Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Alw...":
The National Post has
a story entitled "Democracy should not be left to judges" and here is a
"A courtroom is not the ideal place to determine what’s best
for our democracy. It’s a place where the law takes precedence. And the law is
often either too blunt or too fuzzy, riding on the legislation that is not sound
and on arguable facts and opinions."
Do you agree ? If so, what should we
conclude about the previous council's actions and what happens if and when
governments break their own rules and the rules they have an obligation to
The question is interesting..
A Council is as much a legislative body as any other level of government. Bylaws are the municipal form of legislation.
Many govern nothing more than the actions of Council.
Such as, at the end of every meeting a Confirming Bylaw is passed to legalize actions undertaken during the course of a meeting.
Statutory Officers must be appointed by Bylaw because they have authority under the law to ensure provincial laws governing municipal procedures are followed.
Parking bylaws govern parking. Bylaw Officers are appointed to enforce such .
Every now and again somebody shouts "there otta be a law"
Staff are directed to prepare one.
The Clerk is responsible for writing bylaws.
Sensible practice is to consult with clerks elsewhere to determine who has one and has it stood up in court.
A bylaw , as any law, is only as sound as it's ability to stand the test in court.
When I first came to live in Aurora, milkmen and bakers and such
toured neighbourhoods daily, selling their wares.
A baker who lived on Murray Drive, parked his van on his driveway
A neighbour complained to the town.
The town passed a bylaw prohibiting vehicles over a certain weight from being parked in a residential driveway.
The baker received a ticket under the new bylaw which was its intent.
His livelihood was at stake. The van was his place of business.
He went to court and fought the ticket.
The court dismissed the charge.
In effect, the bylaw did not stand up to a test in court. .
A clerk, allowed to do his job properly, will always seek out such information from colleagues elsewhere in the Province; what has been their experience.
Few problems are fresh and new.
Laws must make sense.
We are a free society. Free to elect our representatives.
If those representatives don't exercise good judgement, we are free to toss them out and get new ones. .
Laws that doesn't stand up in court seldom reflect badly on the court. Lawmakers do much huffing and puffing but a failed test in court generally means a badly written, ill-conceived law hits the dust.
Permissive legislation like Code of Conduct that depends on a citizen to undertake the role of prosecution is, in my judgement little more than bluff and bluster designed to create the appearance of government action.
The solution ends up being worse than the problem.
I am told many municipalities that adopted Codes of Conduct
have abandoned the process.
Ethics proved to be the last principle employed.
The Conflict of Interest Act is another kettle of fish.
The Oath of Office takes care of a breach of trust.
Breach of trust happens when an elected office exploits an elected office for financial advantage.
An erstwhile East Gwillimbury Mayor was found to have had a conflict but the Judge said he didn't mean it, so he was found not guilty. .
In the case of Toronto's Mayor, it was pointed out, no case law existed. Case law is created by court decisions.
Considerable extenuating circumstances were noted by the judge, so the penalty of not being able to run for office for seven years was not imposed
The Judge decided the Mayor's chair should be vacated but stayed the decision to allow time to appeal.
Clayton Ruby said the Judge's decision was clear, he could make no other.
But that was Clayton Ruby's argument and he could make no other.
Then there's Aurora's former Mayor's favourite litigator representing himself as an expert in municipal law.
He was assistant solicitor in the Town of Markham for a while. That's where he met now retired clerk of Aurora, who retained his services to take his own advisory role at Aurora's Council table and steer the debate on the question of whether or not a by-election should be held to fill seat made vacant by the resignation of a Councillor. .
Other sundry, well compensated tasks ensued from that first encounter.
I never actually saw him carry the Mayor's handbag. But others have said they did.
So the question was.... what do I think of government's breaking their own laws?
Under these circumstances....the question is not relevant.
If I am asked what I think of legislators who do not respect respectable law...that's another question... and another post.