Wednesday , 7 June 2023
Home News Esther Pauls addresses her conflict issue with fellow councillors

Esther Pauls addresses her conflict issue with fellow councillors

There a little discomfort evident at Wednesday’s GIC meeting as the report by the integrity commissioner into the sanction against Councillor Esther  Pauls was discussed. The IC had ruled that Pauls should not have voted for the Police budget when her son was a member of the force and docked her 15 day’s pay.

Councillor Pauls read a lengthy statement, where she accepted the ruling by the integrity commissioner and now understood that she did have a conflict in voting for the police budget with a family member on the force. She told councillors she initially felt it was OK to vote on the budget because her son was covered by a three-year collective agreement and that her vote would have no direct impact on the Salary of her son during the year in question. She also expressed her disappointment with Councillor Cameron Kroetsch for laying the complaint against her as did Councillor John Paul Danko.

Integrity Commissioner Janice Atwood said she always tries to resolve issues  informally with dialogue, “even after we receive a complaint we will look for opportunities for resolution,” but added, “once we embark on an investigation where findings of a contravention are made we are required to report publicly.”

 The Integrity Commissioner did not recommend that Pauls resign from the police board noting, “half of boards of education would have to resign if the rule were applied to them.” The Bay Observer and the Hamilton Spectator have both suggested otherwise in editorials. In the view of this publication, it makes no sense that someone as a Police Board member can vote on the Police Budget but must abstain at the council level. Conversely, if it is determined that the member should abstain at both levels, then the member’s value to the Police Services Board is compromised to the point of being ineffective.


  • Good on the councillors for making us aware of conflicts of interest. And I am hoping more of this openness will continue. Ms Paul’s has lost my respect for dissing her colleagues for doing the right thing.

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