Well, read this written in the Ombudsman Watchdog E-Newsletter, Volume 17, February 2012, at the paragraph titled Clarence-Rockland:
"The Ombudsman investigated several complaints about closed meetings stemming from a fractious dispute on council that involved the departure of a senior official and allegations of leaked emails. The Ombudsman’s findings, outlined in two letters to the municipality, note that while that the various meetings did not strictly violate the Municipal Act, they violated the principles of openness and transparency it is intended to uphold."
No language here caracterized by legalese mumbo-jumbo inaccessible to the average taxe-payer, of the style used by lawyer Labrosse in his letter of 16 February to Guibord advising him to reject key recommendations contained in the Ombudsman's letters, specially the one quoted above.
By a vote of 5-3, the municipal council accepted Labrosse's advice, thus defying the Ombudsman who, as an independant investigator of exemplary reputation and integrity, has as a paramount and overriding objective the protection of the citizens' interests against wrondoing at the provincial and municipal levels of government. Guibord and a few other members of the Clarence-Rockland council have decided to defy and challenge the citizens watchdog's advice. That looks like quite a politically risky move on their part, if only because in my opinion the public highly respects and trusts the Ombudsman, in contrast with Guibord's dismal performance and poor credibility of some of his closest allies on council in my view over the past year.
The Clarence-Rockland municipal council must now inform the Ombudsman of its views on the advice it has received from him, including that it rejects some of its key portions. I doubt very much the Ombudsman will take that without a murmour; he is simply not the type to keel and roll over at the push of a few municipal council members at the expense of protecting the citizens interests.
More to come, I'm sure.
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