UPDATE Kings County council takes back a motion that helped spark judicial review

Jennifer
Jennifer Hoegg
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After a closed-door session this morning, Kings County’s committee of the whole recommended council take back an October decision that sparked a court case.

The in camera meeting discussed legal advice related to the judicial review application from Coun. Pauline Raven that is ongoing. That matter was in court at 11 a.m. this morning.

Read more about the court case here.  

Committee of the whole passed a four-part motion recommending that council, rescind a motion of Oct. 15 affirming the municipality’s “code of conduct and the authority of the chair in maintaining decorum in the chamber” and endorsing a warning Warden Diana Brothers issued to Raven. The third part of that motion committed council to “moving ahead in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation.”

A second motion passed this morning replaced the original motion, but did not include the endorsement of the specific warning to Raven nor the commitment to respect and co-operation.

Instead, the motion “recognizes the duty of the chair to maintain decorum in the council chamber and council acknowledges the authority of the chair to issue warnings to councillors for offensive or inappropriate behaviour.”

Councillors Emma Van Rooyen, Kim MacQuarrie and Patricia Bishop were absent from the meeting. Coun. Raven abstained from the vote. All other councillors voted in favour of the motions.

Council went on to confirm the motion at the Jan. 21 council meeting, held late this afternoon. Raven abstained from participating in voting on both matters involving the code of conduct matter.

There is no information yet if this will have an impact on the court case.

Read what happened in court today here.

Both motions referred to comments from Judge Pierre Muise on elements of the case. The full text of the motions are below:

 

Recommendation to council:

Council introduce the following motion to rescind the motion passed by council Oct. 15.

1 Whereas Justice Muise confirmed that the warning, which was issued by the warden was done so as a ‘point of order’ and, for the reasons provided by the court, was not subject to judicial review and, consequently, the court dismissed that aspect of the application for judicial review.

2 And whereas Justice Muise stated that, in proceeding “in camera” Oct. 15, council may have conducted an investigation of an alleged breach of the code of conduct and whearas Justice Muise further stated that, in passing the motion of Oct. 15, endorsing the warning issued by the warden, council may have rendered a decision regarding the alleged breach of the code of conduct by Coun. Raven.

3. Whereas it was never council’s intention to conduct an investigation of the alleged breach of the code of conduct by Coun. Raven and as council only intended to endorse the warning issued by the chair and did not intend to render a decision regarding the alleged breach of the code of conduct.

4. Given all of the foregoing and in order to avoid any uncertainty or confusion regarding the motion passed by council, council has determined that is appropriate to rescind the motion of Oct. 15, 2013, which read:

Motion approved: affirm the code of conduct and the authority of the chair in maintaining decorum in the chamber. Council endorses the warning given to Coun. Raven by the warden and commits to moving ahead in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation.

Moved by Brian Hirtle and seconded by Wayne Atwater.

Motion 2

Recommendation to council:

Council introduce the following motion:

1-    Given that Justice Muise found that the chair has the duty to maintain decorum in the council chambers and that the chair has the authority to issue warnings to council members for offensive or inappropriate behaviour.

2 – it is hereby moved by Brian Hirtle and seconded by Bob Best that council recognizes the duty of the chair to maintain decorum in the council chamber and council acknowledges the authority of the chair to issue warnings to councillors for offensive or inappropriate behaviour.

Moved by Brian Hirtle and seconded by Bob Best 

Organizations: Kings County council, Warden Diana Brothers

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