THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Opening comments: More at the end.
This should not be seen as the only example of Hazel on her soap box telling the world what she thinks, where everyone else is to shut up and listen. This event should be seen as someone is sick of this behaviour in the past and is now speaking up.
The political cartoon.
Mayor McCallion on receiving end
[ Caption under picture of Councillor Southorn - COUNCILLOR SOUTHORN ]
Mayor Hazel McCallion was accused of “editorializing” from the chair by a city councillor at Monday night's six-hour special meeting on Sunday shopping.
At the beginning of the meeting, the mayor said councillors would not be commenting on the issue, since it is before the courts. Peel has asked for an injunction against the major food stores which opened illegally on Sundays before Christmas. The case is to be heard in March.
When David Stewart, president of Loblaws Supermarkets, made a speech which sharply criticized politicians' handling of the issue, the mayor did not simply ask for the next speaker when he concluded. McCallion told those who booed the conclusion of Stewart's speech that "everybody's welcome. " But she added dryly that "the only people we might discriminate against are lawbreakers."
That remark also brought boos from many in the capacity crowd. McCallion went on to say that "when people blatantly and publicly announce that they are going to break the law, that's irresponsible." When Stewart asked to respond to her comments, the mayor replied "you can respond at the appropriate time."
That prompted Ward 9 councillor Ted Southorn to ask the mayor if any councillors would be allowed to comment on the presentations from the public. "Are you the only one speaking?" asked Southorn. "Will it be that the only editorial comment tonight is from the chair?"
Southorn said Stewart should be given a chance to respond to the mayor's statements since “the tradition around here allows rebuttals to be made.” Southorn added that “I really challenge the chair” on the handling of the issue.
McCallion said that if all councillors were allowed to respond to every deputation "we'll be here all night."
Replied Southorn: "If we allow the chair to editorialize, we'll be here until tomorrow night."
With that, McCallion asked for the next speaker to make his remarks.
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