In our report on last week’s All Candidates Meeting, we referred to a question asked by Margaret Maika about the legal claim by the previous Integrity Commissioner. During the question itself and the response by Mayor Love, comments were made about possible breaches of confidentiality, and questioning both Rosien’s and The Current’s roles.
Maika, who waved a copy of The Current’s article as she spoke, advised that she attends “nearly every council meeting.” She went on to say “I was at all those meetings … and yet I find that this is now in cyberspace — an issue about a councillor in Madawaska Valley, a female councillor, and it refers to medical reasons which is positively confidential.” She was concerned about how “a blog” would obtain and release that information in the public domain. She directed her question at Councillor Archer and asked her whether she was the female councillor concerned. Archer said she was not.
As we previously reported, the only facts concerning what happened in the legal proceedings that The Current revealed came from the Court file. Archer confirmed at the Candidates Meeting that anything in a Court file is a matter of public record and parties to legal proceedings are made aware of this. Since the meeting on October 11, The Current has revisited the Court documents so as to ensure that what we reported previously, and what follows, is accurate. The Current also recorded what was said at the All Candidates Meeting.
Although the question was directed at Archer, Love also responded. She said,
If staff has a problem, we keep it confidential. A similar respect should be given to a member of council. A similar respect was not given to a member of council on an issue that should have been kept confidential by that Integrity Commissioner. Instead, he used that particular piece of information to leverage money from the municipality.
Rosien tells a different story about his motivation in his affidavits. In his sworn statement he said that he believed he had reasonable grounds to suspect that the decision to end his appointment was not as stated by the Township at the time and which Love repeated at the meeting. He said,
I believe the reasons relate more to my actions in raising the issue of a conflict of interest in the Templeman firm simultaneously representing the Council and a member of that Council whom I was investigating.
This raises serious public interest issues affecting as it does upholding the requirement that the work of Integrity Commissioners should be carried out free of any interference.
Readers are reminded that Rosien subsequently obtained support for his conflict of interest allegation through an expert opinion filed with the Court. This was the subject of a previous Current article. Click HERE to read that article.
Does Love’s comment that Rosien wanted to “leverage money” mean taxpayers are entitled to assume from this that he did in fact receive money? As The Current reported in the article Maika was asking about, the settlement terms are subject to a confidentiality restriction.
Rosien maintained confidentiality but Love did not
In all of the witness statements and documents filed with the Court by Rosien prior to Love’s affidavit, he did not say anything that ran the risk of identifying the councillor under investigation. He used only gender-neutral references and he did not disclose any details about the complaint itself. Most importantly he did not disclose any information about the nature of the incapacity. In the only document he filed with the Court that contained the councillor’s name, he redacted that portion and wrote on it:
Note the names of the councillors in this document have been blacked out to comply with S.223.5(1) of the Municipal Act 2001 S.O.2001 c.25. Signed Jack Rosien Plaintiff.
In her affidavit responding to Rosien’s, Love in one fell swoop removed the confidentiality protection that Rosien had put in place. Not only did she disclose the gender, but she also disclosed facts that implicated the councillor in question. Moreover, she then went on to give details of the medical condition.
This answers Margaret Maika’s question as to who was responsible for making public the gender and medical information about the councillor under investigation. It was not Rosien. It was not The Current. It was Love herself.