Divisional Court blocks BLR Council from filling Budarick’s seat until her appeal is heard

The fate of a Brudenell Lyndoch and Raglan Council seat is in limbo following the decision of an Ontario court released on December 6, 2021. Madam Justice Ryan Bell dismissed Budarick’s request for a stay , stating in her decision, “Ms. Budarick has not shown that it is in the interests of justice to grant a stay of the judgment of the application judge. Her motion for a stay pending her appeal is dismissed. I order that the Township is prohibited from taking steps under the Municipal Act to fill the vacancy in Ms. Budarick’s position on Council pending the determination of her appeal in this court.” The appeal will be heard by a three judge panel on January 16, 2022. Pictured above is the BLR municipal office.

Responding to the decision, Budarick told The Current, “One important purpose of asking for the stay was to ensure no further costs to the ratepayers of BLR to undo actions that would have filled my seat prematurely, and that aim was met.  I am pleased that the court found that my appeal can go forward.” She went on to say, “The questions I asked during public meetings were done to fulfill my duty to the ratepayers of my ward and ensure accountability and transparency of decisions made by this Mayor and Council.”  

While Mayor Keller and BLR Council have not publicly stated what their process for the filling of the vacant seat will be, local council watchers have commented that the ruling by the court continues to frustrate the attempt to quickly install former BLR Councillor Wayne Banks to replace Budarick.  

Justice Martin James, after taking more than six months to release his decision, ruled on November 22, 2021 that Councillor Budarick’s participation in discussions related to fire department billing of a number of BLR property owners constituted an attempt to reduce an administrative charge applied to her son in 2019 and therefore contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.  

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