EDITORIAL: Should Pickering’s Integrity Commissioner, Jeffrey A. Abrams, be investigated?


B**sh*t Baffles Brains or Bureaucracy Baffles Brains. Here’s a perfect example. The gift-giving rule states clearly that the limit is $500. A number of Pickering councillors exceeded the limit and Pickering resident Anthony Yacub filed a complaint, not to chastise the councillors, but asking them to pay back the monetary equivalent and remove the conflict of interest criticism.

Instead of ruling accordingly, the Integrity Commissioner adhered to the BBB rule indicating that there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation. Hmm…rule: $500 limit, gifts received in 2023, ranged from $3,800 to $2,750. These gifts seem to exceed the rule limit.

But the Integrity Commissioner using the BBB rule, explains there is no evidence that warrants deeper investigation into this matter.

The question is “Is there a limit of $500?” If this commissioner cannot enforce this regulation, should this commissioner consider doing an ‘AMATO’ and resign?

“Tomahto, tomato” … anything here to look at? Can Pickering residents rest assured that they are being safeguarded and responsible government is insured with an Integrity Commissioner like Jeffrey Abrams?

This is a summary of the Integrity Commissioner’s report…

  • Code of Conduct breach: Four Pickering Councillors accepted gifts from lobbyists that exceeded the $500 limit set by the City’s Code of Conduct, gifts were mainly Toronto Maple Leafs, and Toronto Raptors tickets and gala passes.
  • Complaint by Anthony Yacub and response: Pickering resident Yacub filed a complaint against the councillors, asking them to pay back what they owe and remove the conflict of interest. The Integrity Commissioner said the breach was not egregious enough to warrant a full investigation, but suggested training and education to improve compliance and transparency.
  • Lobbying practices and regulations: The document cites several reports and inquiries that highlight the dangers of influence peddling and the need for ethical standards and a lobbyist registry. It also spells out the responsibilities of both the lobbyists and the government officials to avoid using favours or benefits to acquire influence.

To read the full story by Glenn Hendry, CLICK —> 

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