After the million dollar scandal at Brampton City Council earlier this year — where police concluded there was actually no slush fund — and evident controversy over City Council throughout the years, it’s no surprise that many Brampton residents want more transparent municipal leadership.
On Wednesday December 13, 2017, Brampton’s City Councillors voted against having an independent Auditor General for the city.
Just this morning, Brampton’s Mayor Linda Jeffrey called the negative vote a rejection of accountability, openness and transparency by Councillors.
Jeffrey brought the motion to the table for Councillors to appoint an independent Auditor General.
“Following an investigation into municipal practices at the city on procurement (March 2017), the Ombudsman of Ontario suggested that establishing an independent, permanent auditor general would help re-establish the public’s confidence in the city and ensure that the public trusts the city to act accountably, openly, and transparently,” said Jeffrey in this morning’s statement.
It seems the majority of Councillors felt differently.
Jeffrey also called out the Outside Policy Request from earlier this year, where police investigated an alleged secret bonus program had taken place among senior staff at the City of Brampton for five years, from 2009 to 2014, wherein approximately $1.25 million was paid out, unmonitored or tracked, as bonuses to staff. Police found that no criminal offences were actually committed by City of Brampton employees.
“It is no secret that Brampton’s past is filled with controversy, leading many residents to lose trust in the city – including the recent Peel Regional Police investigation into the Out of Policy Request scandal from previous terms of council,” said Jeffrey.
With this batch of City Councillors, it doesn’t seem like there will be an independent Auditor General for Brampton anytime soon.
Can “transparency” can be achieved without one?
Here’s Mayor Jeffrey’s full statement: