June 15, 2022
Today, Brampton City Council did not have a quorum. To make decisions at City Council, a majority of Councillors must be present to form quorum.
However, due to the previous actions of the Gang of Six, Mayor Brown and four other Councillors refused to attend the meeting today in order to protect democracy.
Why is this happening?
Councillor Charmaine Williams ran in the provincial election.
Prior to the provincial election, the Gang of Six Councillors (including Charmaine Williams) passed a motion that both the City Clerk (Peter Fay) and City Lawyer (Sameer Akhtar) stated was not aligned with the Municipal Act.
Led by Councillor Pat Fortini, the Gang of Six passed a motion that appoints former Councillor Elaine Moore to Council in the event Williams won in the provincial election.
Councillor Charmaine Williams did indeed win in the provincial election by riding the Progressive Conservative blue wave in Brampton.
According to the city lawyer, the Municipal Act states you must declare the seat vacant prior to appointing someone to fill the vacancy. The seat only becomes vacant after the provincial election, not before. Local sources have advised the Bramptonist that the city lawyer was fired the very next day for expressing his legal opinion that was contrary to the Gang of Six.
Because of the Municipal Act, City Clerk Peter Fay would not swear in Moore to take the oath of office as a Councillor. Again, the Act says the seat must be declared vacant before an appointment can be made. However, with no quorum, no declaration could be made.
The Gang of Six themselves had a history of boycotting Council meetings to withdraw quorum. Now, there are tasting their own medicine.
Former Councillor Elaine Moore did not seek re-election in 2018.
This was the same Councillor who made accusations against former City Manager Deborah Dubenofsky. When she was on Council, Elaine Moore alleged that the City Manager was closely aligned with the Mayor in the biased awarding of a multi-million city hall expansion project. However, in 2019, Superior Court Justice John Sproat debunked the allegations and ruled that the Mayor Fennell and Dubenosky “did not attempt to influence” the awarding of the contract.
For this term of Council, citizen Elaine Moore was again on social media attacking another City Manager and his administration of being biased.
Councillor Pat Fortini is now attempting to get Elaine Moore appointed back onto Council. Prior to the provincial election, Fortini was yelling at his Council colleagues, stating he should be able to pick whoever he wants. He was joined by Councillor Martin Medeiros who commented “we can do what we want…good or bad”. Medeiros then declared Council “reigns supreme”.
Another interesting fact is that Elaine Moore does not even reside in Wards 7 and 8 for which she was seeking appointment.
With 11 seats on Council, the balance of power is 6, which is why the Gang of Six was initially formed. But with Charmaine Williams winning in the the provincial election, the Gang of Six was reduced to a group of 5, thereby losing their voting power block.
When they had power, the Gang of Six launched unsubstantiated allegations against the municipal administration. This led to a $500,000 investigation into which Deloitte found no evidence of wrongdoing by municipal staff. The Gang of Six then used their balance of power and fired many senior bureaucrats behind closed doors at substantial costs to the City.
With the appointment of Elaine Moore, the Gang of Six would return to power.
In an effort to protect democracy, the Mayor and four other Councillors withdrew their attendance at Council. This will give them time to consult with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and receive a formal provincial interpretation of the Municipal Act.
Overall, it is the residents of Brampton in determining who should have a seat on Council. The next municipal election is on October 24th. With several of the Gang of Six at risk of losing their Council seats, they are doing everything they can to retain power.