Special Report: Integrity Commissioner

Council Silence on Bullying Incident Hurts Public Confidence

Council's continued silence shows citizens and taxpayers who expect the City's public areas to be zones of safety from bullying and harassment that this is not the case if the aggressor is a member of Hamilton City council.

By Myke Hutchings
Published March 03, 2015

I am writing to express my continued dismay over the continued hesitancy of Hamilton City Council to speak up about the quality and content of the recent Integrity Commission report into the incident between Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson and journalist Joey Coleman.

I'd first like to thank those councillors few councillors who have spoken up - Matthew Green, Scott Duvall and Sam Merulla - for their continuing engagment, response and standing up for the taxpayers of this city in this matter.

The silence of the rest of Hamilton City Council sends a dark message to City employees who are now clearly being held to a different level of accountability if they are found in violation of the Code of Conduct.

Council's continued silence shows citizens and taxpayers who expect the City's public areas to be zones of safety from bullying and harassment that this is not the case if the aggressor is a member of Hamilton City council.

It shows that councillors are above the policies that are implemented by the city.

Council's silence in accepting the Integrity Commissioner's report shows that Council is willing to accept incomplete, poorly-investigated and unprofessional work and pay for it with taxpayers' money with little investigation and due diligence with regards to the content of this work.

While I understand Council's hesitance in speaking out about this matter, its continued silence does little to help instil further confidence in the citizens of the city.

Council, I had hopes for change this term. Please do not dash them so soon into it. You can truly do better for our city.

This article was adapted from a letter to Council.

Myke Hutchings is a musician, writer, photographer, foodie and coffee addict.

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted March 04, 2015 at 22:00:02

I wonder if those councilors feel threatened and harassed by Mr. Coleman? I know several people who feel very harassed by media types especially the independents who have nobody controlling them or offering some oversight. They can print or blog anything they want without any control, restrictions or verification. Media from tv stations, newspapers and radio are treated and considered in a much different light.

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