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Opinion Pieces

Emails Confirm that Oakville Town Council Approval of Saw-Whet Was Premature

In an in-camera (secret) meeting on May 16, 2016, Town Council approved the Saw-Whet development application without disclosing any details including the vote count.

It is apparent that Council approved this development even though there were many technical issues with the storm water management work which had not been properly addressed.

In an email of the Assistant Town Solicitor dated June 16, 2016, obtained through a freedom of information request to a Resident, Mayor and Council stated that, “…the witnesses of the Town and the Conservation Authority have taken the position that there are many technical issues with the storm water management work which have not been properly addressed.”

In another email dated August 29, 2016, to a Resident the Assistant Town Solicitor advised the Resident that, “The town’s position in this hearing had been that the proposed development was ‘premature and not in the public interest’ partly as a result of concerns with the supporting technical studies (related to natural heritage, stormwater, groundwater, erosion, flooding, noise, and other matters).”

A further reason why Saw-Whet should not have been approved is based on the fact that it was known in 1986 that development on the Saw-Whet site was not advisable based on a recommendation outlined in an Engineering Report from April 1986. A recommendation was made by the Engineer for “construction of a 640 acre-feet flood storage reservoir on the 14 Mile Creek just south of Upper Middle Road and east of Bronte Road”, which would have included the Saw-Whet lands.

As a Candidate for Ward 5 Town Councillor who is interested in protecting the interests of Ward 5 residents and all Oakville residents the actions of Council in approving the development when there were still many technical issues outstanding was reprehensible.

Perhaps even worse is that instead of keeping their promise to save Saw-Whet Council approved the development in a secret meeting by ignoring the engineering concerns and science in favour of profit.

Michael Reid
Candidate for Ward 5 Town Councillor

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MichaelReid4Oakville

CANDIDATE FOR TOWN COUNCIL FOR WARD 5.
He will bring Transparency, Trust and Truth to Town Hall.

2 months ago

MichaelReid4Oakville
Well, it's been a LOOOOONG weekend, and it continues as we finish moving Dad into a new assisted living home. We fly home later tomorrow, but given the past few weeks' wrinkles in posting a journal from afar, I thought I'd give you this smile instead. Enjoy (calorie/carb-free!) and have a lovely Monday. ... See MoreSee Less
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3 months ago

MichaelReid4Oakville
ATTENTION WARD 5 RESIDENTS: ... See MoreSee Less
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4 months ago

MichaelReid4Oakville
October 14, 2022WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OAKVILLE AND VIRTUALLY ALL OTHER MUNICIPALITIES IN THE GTA WHEN IT COMES TO AUDITS?There have been some questions surrounding the audit practices of the Town during this municipal campaign, and in this regard, I offer the following:Annual ReportThe Town’s website states pertaining to the 2021 Annual Report that “The town’s independent external auditors, KPMG, have again provided an unqualified audit opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements. An unqualified, or “clean” audit opinion indicates that the financial statements prepared by the town are a fair presentation of the town’s financial position and financial results for the past year.”The Town confirms that the Annual Report includes the following:• A complete overview of the town’s audited financial statements;• The information shows the town’s financial position: the town’s cash flows, assets and five-year review;• They combine the operations of the town, Oakville Public Library and the town’s three Business Improvement Areas. Also included is the town’s investment in Oakville Hydro and all non-financial assets;• They are prepared based on the Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAB) and prescribed policies issued by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and• A highlight of the accomplishments achieved by the town in meeting the needs of the community.Auditor General AuditsOn or about November 27, 2007, Council passed a resolution stating, “That positions of Lobbyist and Auditor General not pursued at this time.” This was confirmed in an email to a resident dated January 14, 2015 inserted below and there has been no indication that the Town has had Auditor General services since that time.The fact that the Town does not have an Auditor General is where I would allege that the audit deficiencies start, and I would allege that the types of audits conducted by an Auditor General have not been completed.An Auditor General is responsible for carrying out financial, operational, compliance, performance (value for money), forensic and other special reviews of all programs, activities and functions of Town divisions and local boards, and the offices of the Mayor and members of Council.Financial Audits Financial-related audits include determining whether:• financial information is presented in accordance with established or stated criteria;• the entity has adhered to specific financial compliance requirements, or• the entity’s internal control structure over financial reporting and/or safeguarding assets is suitably designed and implemented to achieve control objectives.Operational, Compliance, Performance AuditsThese audits may include any or all of:• determining the extent to which the desired results or benefits established by the legislature or other authorizing body are being achieved;• the effectiveness of organizations, programs, activities, or functions;• whether the Town division is acquiring, protecting, and using its resources (such as personnel, property, and space) economically and efficiently, and• whether the Town division has complied with laws and regulations applicable to the program.Fraud and Waste HotlineUndertakes forensic investigations including suspected fraudulent activities and manages the fraud hotline referring issues to divisional management and the Town’s Internal Audit Division as appropriate.Follow-up AuditsOn an annual basis, the Auditor General notifies the Town Manager, or appropriate management representative for agencies and corporations, in writing of his or her outstanding recommendations. Management staff will report back to the Auditor General on recommendations that have been implemented. The Auditor General then verifies that the recommendations have in fact been implemented.The retaining of an Auditor General will bring transparency, trust and truth to Town Hall.Michael ReidCandidate for Town Councillor for Ward 5www.michaelreidoakville.com ... See MoreSee Less
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4 months ago

MichaelReid4Oakville
See below from Shahrez HayderSERIOUS ELECTION CONCERNS:As residents of Oakville begin to vote in the municipal and school board elections, I want to raise a concern I have over the ability of Elections Oakville to identify and prevent voter fraud and manipulation during campaign period.In 2018, I ran as a candidate for Town & Regional Council for Oakville’s Ward 7. I was young and worked hard, and believed that our electoral process was fair and that all candidates were committed to upholding the democratic process. When the results came in, I came second, runner up to Councillor Pavan by just 68 votes. But, when people started to dig into the results, we realized that there were many instances of voter fraud. People were voting in Ward 7 when they were not able to do so, and Elections Oakville, though warned about it, did nothing to stop this improper conduct. Eventually, the Ontario Provincial Police became involved, and charged a few people, including Pavan’s in-laws with voter fraud (another individual, believed to be a Pavan supporter, was even convicted of voter fraud). There were other instances of what appeared to be voter fraud, and I launched a lawsuit to review the results because the number of questionable votes appeared to cover the spread between Pavan and me (I had to withdraw the lawsuit after awhile because it was too expensive to maintain and Elections Oakville had no interest in determining how many people voted illegally). The experience left a sour taste in my mouth about the democratic process. We trust that elected officials and others will act with integrity; that they will be honest and forthright, and not deceive others or break the law. We also believe that our government institutions will safeguard the integrity of our democratic system, including by ensuring that our elections are free and fair. It was a crash course into how some people operate and it changed my perceptions of our electoral process and institutions, especially since Elections Oakville was not able to stop the fraud before it happened. Over time, I stopped thinking about what had happened, and moved on with my life. But, then the current campaign for Ward 7’s Town & Regional Councillor started, and the news broke that Pavan had tried to have Oakville taxpayers pay for creating and mailing out a brochure and postcard to help her re-election chances. Councillors are not allowed to use public, taxpayer funds for partisan, election purposes. It is against the law. Here was Pavan, though, trying to spend tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to create and send out material to aid her re-election, and hoping no one would notice. Pavan was partially right. Elections Oakville did not notice. Although Elections Oakville is responsible to ensure that our elections are fair, it did not flag the clearly illegal and partisan materials (which will certainly put Pavan above the spending limit for the campaign, though we will see the amount she actually reports).Instead, a group of Ward 7 residents noticed, who then raised the matter with Election Oakville. Only then did Elections Oakville and the Town of Oakville take the position that using public funds for the materials were improper and illegal, and that no taxpayer dollars should be used to pay for creating or distributing them. But, why did it take residents of Ward 7 to notice the illegal conduct, and force Elections Oakville and the Town of Oakville to do the thing that it is responsible to do: ensure that our elections are fair? If the institutions tasked with safeguarding our democracy — and ensuring our elected officials and candidates act according to the law — fail at the most basic tasks, then what use do they serve? How are we to have faith in our democratic process and the integrity of our election results when candidates openly break the law and our institutions do nothing to stop them? I am concerned about the integrity of our democratic process and how our elections are conducted in Oakville with things like this happening and people being allowed to skirt our laws with little to no accountability. Elections Oakville needs to take action and prevent this election from devolving into what happened in 2018 — which was a black mark on Oakville and an insult to the honest, hardworking people who call this city home.Shahrez Hayder ... See MoreSee Less
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4 months ago

MichaelReid4Oakville
Timeline photos"Voting is important to exercise your rights."Advance voting is open today at Oakville Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit our website for a list of voting locations: elections.oakville.ca/where-do-i-vote.html ... See MoreSee Less
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