Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Breach of Trust: Call In The Police Now

There is now a dark cloud of suspicion hanging over Windsor Council thanks to Chris Vander Doelen of the Windsor Star.

It is unhealthy. It is corruption within the highest governing body in our Municipality. It involves the public trust and those whom we have put in positions of authority in Government to do the right thing for us.

Someone on Windsor Council is corrupt. That person ought to be in jail. It's that simple.

More and more, the Windsor CUPE strike is taking on something much more ominous than a mere labour dispute for someone to act in such a fashion.

Mini-Gord told us as clearly as possible that a crime has been committed:
  • "Does anyone in Windsor believe that only one set of "loose lips" on city council muddied the waters during the CUPE strike last summer...

    But I happen to know for a fact there is more than one potential leak. A councillor who was not Jones offered to be that leak to me over the phone half a year ago. Being wary of quicksand, I never took the councillor up on the offer."

The finger of suspicion is pointed at each Council member now, equally. Other than Councillor Jones it seems who has his own "leak" issue thanks to unproven allegations.

What is Council going to do about it? Forget about it? Or take it seriously!

Are you shocked, dear reader, that mini-Gord turned down having his own Deep Throat in the secret in camera meetings of Council! Scoop after scoop. But he did.


Clearly, mini-Gord knew that this Councillor was crossing the line. Sure people leak things on occasion but not it seems as this Councillor was prepared to do: to be offering to be a virtual torrent, a provider of a flood of confidential information which action would be breaching the Councillor's legal duties and responsibilities.

If mini-Gord was part of that, he would suffer the consequences too. No wonder he rightfully declined.

What mini-Gord did not tell us was if the Councillor wanted something in return and if so, what it was? Could that be the "quicksand" he was concerned about as well? Why ruin his journalistic career for a criminal!

Oh sure, there can be another Integrity Commission investigation except I hope Mr. Basse remembers what his real "judicial" powers are now. Or we can have a judicial inquiry under the Municipal Act or a bunch of other alternatives. But why would we not treat this act as what it is:


This was not a slip. This was a deliberate act. This Councillor was prepared to breach his/her legal duty knowingly, willingly and with malice for some reward that would be to his/her own benefit---a re-election advantage perhaps or not to be slapped down too often in print!

The Criminal Code of Canada is clear:

  • Section 122

    Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person.

The Supreme Court has said

  • "I conclude that the offence of breach of trust by a public officer will be established where the Crown proves beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

    1. The accused is an official;

    2. The accused was acting in connection with the duties of his or her office;

    3. The accused breached the standard of responsibility and conduct demanded of him or her by the nature of the office;

    4. The conduct of the accused represented a serious and marked departure from the standards expected of an individual in the accused’s position of public trust; and

    5. The accused acted with the intention to use his or her public office for a purpose other than the public good, for example, for a dishonest, partial, corrupt, or oppressive purpose."

Each one of these conditions has been met.

The Mayor/Head of the Police Services Board has no choice but to have Chief Smith investigate immediately this crime and prosecute if one has been committed. The investigation must also determine if this person has comitted other offences which may have jeopardized the public interest.

As for Mr. Vander Doelen and the Star, I trust that they will be front and centre in assisting the police. As for not revealing sources, that does not work here since no one is protecting a confidential source that is exposing wrong-doing. Not revealing the name would be protecting the wrong-doer him/herself.