Sudbury council blasts Ont. Ombudsman
Planned information session turns into a heated debate at council's Tuesday meeting
Posted: Dec 12, 2012 7:55 AM ET
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2012 8:58 AM ET
Sparks flew Tuesday night as the Ontario Ombudsman made his long-awaited visit to Sudbury city council.
Councillors appeared to still be sore after being slammed by Andre Marin earlier this year.
"It's not the office I'm concerned with, it's you,” said Coun. Terry Kett, who said he was troubled by what he called Marin's sarcastic attitude — both in his reports and on social media website Twitter.
Other councillors zeroed in on the Ombudsman’s accusation that they refused to co-operate with his investigation into closed door meetings earlier this year.Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin speaks to reporters in Sudbury. He was in the city Tuesday to speak with City of Greater Sudbury council about closed door meetings. (Erik White/CBC)
Marin fired back, at times pointing aggressively at councillors and speaking over them.
"So you would have preferred if I just walked away and zipped it? I think I owe it to the community,” he said.
‘At a loss’
City councillors argued they tried to co-operate, but didn't want to be interviewed without a city lawyer in the room.
Marin said that's against the law and told council it had been given "bad legal advice."
"Why suddenly is it an issue in Sudbury,” he asked. “What law do you have here that's different from the law in all of Ontario?"
But Greater Sudbury city solicitor Jamie Canapini said the Ombudsman's office has yet to tell him which law gives it that power.
"So, I'm still at a loss,” he said. “To this day."
The Ombudsman was to give an educational session at Tom Davies Square on the rules of closed door meetings.
But instead, the fight over the Ombudsman’s report from earlier this year was rekindled, and Marin’s observation about Sudbury’s city council being the least co-operative group he had ever dealt with was revisited.
Coun. Frances Caldarelli questioned that accusation.
"Mr. Marin, you had every single person show up”, she posited.
To which Marin countered: “So what? Show up and not talk. What good is that?"
After the verbal fireworks cleared, the differences of opinion — and the legal argument at the heart of it — appeared to be very much unresolved.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Councillor's ward cited as unhealthiest in Sudbury
- A Sudbury city councillor said Friday he was stunned to learn his ward is one of the most unhealthy areas in Greater Sudbury. more »
- Possibility of cancelling Algo's rooftop parking raised at inquiry
- Testimony at the public inquiry into the fatal collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake has raised questions about whether the owner of the mall was concerned enough about the structure to cancel rooftop parking. more »
- Agnico-Eagle worker found alive after blizzard
- A worker missing from Agnico-Eagle's Meliadine camp near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, was found alive late Thursday night, after weathering a potentially record-breaking blizzard. more »
- LCBO strike threat off after deal reached
- The prospect of a Victoria Day weekend liquor store strike in Ontario has been taken off the shelf after a deal was reached late Thursday night between the LCBO and its unionized workers. more »
Top News Headlines
- Spectator killed at Edmonton Jeep event
- A 20-year-old woman died Saturday during an event for Jeep enthusiasts held in a parking lot just west of downtown Edmonton. more »
- Rescue attempt over for missing fishermen in New Brunswick
- The rescue attempt for two missing fishermen has been called off in New Brunswick, hours after one body was found. more »
- Afghan legislators block law protecting women
- An Afghan legislator says conservative lawmakers have blocked approval of a law that aims to protect women's freedoms, saying parts of it violate Islamic principles. more »
- Senator Pamela Wallin leaves Conservative caucus
- Senator Pamela Wallin says she is recusing herself from the Conservative caucus while her travel expense claims are under scrutiny. Wallin's departure comes one day after Senator Mike Duffy left the Tory caucus amid controversy over his expense claims. more »