Five Brampton Councillors Play Hooky in the Continued Stalemate

July 20, 2022.

(Photo: Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon one of five Councillors refusing to attend Council meetings and answering questions about Court ordered payments)

With files from Silas Johnson, Video Editor

The stalemate at Brampton City Council continues, with five Councillors (Pat Fortini, Martin Medeiros, Gurpreet Dhillon, Jeff Bowman and Doug Whillans) playing hooky.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that the five Councillors acted illegally in an attempt to appoint Elaine Moore to fill a vacancy on Council. The vacancy was created when Charmaine Williams won in the June provincial election. According to Justice Doi, Councillor Fortini’s motion to appoint Elaine Moore was conducted “…with a total absence of jurisdiction”.

Prior to the motion, Councillors Pat Fortini and Martin Medeiros used their majority vote to self-appoint themselves as Deputy Mayors, which enables them to call Council meetings and set agendas. They called three Special Meetings in their attempts to illegally appoint Elaine Moore. Mayor Patrick Brown and other allied Councillors (Paul Vicente, Rowena Santos, Michael Palleschi and Harkirat Singh) refused to attend these meetings, as any motion involving the participation of Elaine Moore, would have been illegal.

When Mayor Patrick Brown refused to attend, Fortini and Medeiros accused the Mayor of delaying city business. Now, it is Fortini and Medeiros themselves who are delaying city business. Sources have advised the Bramptonist that Medeiros is vacationing in Europe while being critical of the Mayor’s attempt to resolve the stalemate. Whillans is vactioning in Prince Edward Island. The other three Councillors (Fortini, Bowman and Dhillan) refuse to attend as they would be the minority vote on Council.

Councillors can attend meetings remotely by Zoom.

The failure to attend the meetings is preventing serious questions to be answered surrounding the conduct of these five Councillors. For example, a 3-judge panel ordered Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon to pay $20,000 to the City of Brampton and another $20,000 to the Integrity Commissioner for his unsuccessful legal challenge on the report that concluded he engaged in sexual misconduct. It is unknown if Dhillon has paid these amounts as ordered by the courts. What is known is that Dhillon did not declare a conflict of interest when he participated in a 6-5 vote to fire the Integrity Commissioner who wrote the report.

It is also unknown if current CAO Paul Morrison authorized a settlement related to the lawsuit involving Dhillon’s reported sexual misconduct. Upon receiving the Integrity Commissioner report, Dhillon’s victim filed a lawsuit against both the Councillor and the City. At the time of the lawsuit, Paul Morrison was the Commissioner of Legislative Services and had the authority to approve any legal settlements. After the settlement with the victim, Dhillon participated in the vote to promote Morrison as CAO.

The Bramptonist sent questions to both Councillor Dhillon and CAO Morrison to confirm or deny payments and settlements. Both did not respond.