The publics’ tolerance for the way corporations influence politicians is changing. At least for the dumb and dumber varieties.
A good story from CBC.ca drawing in my old franchising friend, Canada Bread and Maple Leaf Foods and wastewater, is called As Fords exit mayor’s office, conflict probes intensify:
The proposed fee hike would have raised Maple Leaf’s wastewater surcharges by between 35 and 75 per cent, according to city estimates, potentially representing a total yearly increase of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Both Ford brothers voted against, helping defeat the proposal 22-18.
Coun. Mike Layton, who was pushing for the fee hikes, said it would have been straightforward for the Fords to declare an interest without complicating council’s deliberations.
“You declare a conflict of interest, you leave the room for that vote, and no one pays any attention to it,” he said in an interview. “It’s not rocket science.”
As usual, it is the single voice that sounds the alarm.
The third complaint, a court action under Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, alleges the Fords voted on and tried to influence agenda items at City Hall affecting their company, Deco Labels, and some of its customers. Even with Doug soon to be out of office and Rob in a lesser role, the civic activist who brought the case said her plan is to “see it to its end.”
“The vagaries of an election don’t give you a pass for past behaviour,” said Jude MacDonald, who noted the stakes are high: She’s asking the judge to ban both Fords from holding municipal elected office for the maximum seven years.
And one of the Fords wants to be the Ontario tory leader?