***Please read the CALL TO ACTION at the bottom***
We'll be getting the Council Preview for next week out shortly, but wanted to point out that the Integrity Commissioner will be giving her report Monday night on the formal complaint against BIA Chair Rob Hamilton's racist slur and derogatory comments about unhoused people, those with mental health issues, and those living with addiction.
We especially want to point out that this IC report was the result of ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN taking action, and making a formal complaint to the IC. This is the power of public engagement!
It is a shame that a private citizen had to take this complaint to the Integrity Commissioner, while the City, BIA Board and BIA Council Representatives Sergio Morales & Jim Harris did nothing to uphold the Human Rights Code when it was broken 7 months ago – or when CBC News broke the story in February (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/barrie-battle-over-supervised-consumption-site-1.5908686).
But if the BIA and the City won't hold their own officials accountable, members of the public have other avenues – including reporting Code violations to the Integrity Commissioner.
According to the Code of Conduct (which will be receiving some updates shortly), any member of the public may file a complaint with the IC if they believe a Councillor or committee member has not upheld the Code's standards.
If you would like assistance with filing a complaint, or understanding the process or timing, please get in touch. We're always happy to educate the public on the many ways we can all get engaged and make positive change happen in our city!
***CALL TO ACTION***
Rob Hamilton has indicated via the media that he does not wish to respect the Integrity Commissioner's ruling. But the choice to abide by the IC's recommendations is not his to make – it's up to the will of City Council on Monday night.
Please call and/or email your Councillor to let them know that the City's Code of Conduct is important to you, and that you expect them to accept the Integrity Commissioner's ruling.
Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org automatically get forwarded to the Mayor, all Councillors, and the City Clerk. Direct emails and phone numbers for the Mayor and Council are also listed at https://www.barrie.ca/City%20Hall/MayorCouncil/Pages/default.aspx
Racist and abusive comments towards members of the public are never acceptable, and certainly not from the Chair of one of Barrie's Local Boards. Please help us encourage Council to uphold the values of the City's Code of Conduct on Monday night!