Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Phyllis Morris — Hypocrite or Opportunist?

Posted by auroracitizen on July 28, 2010

Mayor Phyllis Morris recently signed a petition that would outlaw tanning beds. You can see a picture (another photo-op for Mayor Morris) in the latest issue of SNAP. 

A reader asked “Is this really something municipally elected officials should be doing? I doubt tanning beds are municipally controlled. When you’ve got your laundry hanging on the lines, you don’t have any room to lay out in the sun …”

A first glance it looks and feels like another “Right to Dry” program. Something purely for photo-ops for Mayor Morris that will have virtually no impact on the broader citizens of this community and has nothing to do with her elected duties as Mayor.

Most people might view this as another silly tactic by a silly women desperately seeking attention.

We see it a bit differently.

First, she has potentially damaged a number of small, taxpaying businesses in our community. They are legal to own and operate and provide a service to resident who feel they offer a service they would like to use.

Signing a petition to ban these business would not seem to be in keeping with an economic development strategy to nurture and encourage small business in our community.

Most Mayors try to support local businesses — not harm them. Did she think about the impact that this petition might have on their business. Given that banning tanning beds has nothing to do with her role, we believe that it was irresponsible for her to get involved in something that could potentially harm their business. Better she start doing the things we elected her to do..

Secondly — we believe this again raises concerns about the convenience of her ethics.

A reader confirmed that as recently as last month, Mayor Morris was a member of a local tanning salon.

So we wonder — how can a person hold a membership at a tanning salon while at the same time petition to have them banned?

Saying one thing while doing another hits at the very heart of integrity and leadership. A quality that appears lacking with Phyllis Morris.

Poor business insight and poor ethical decisions. A dangerous combination demonstrated in 1 simple example.

27 Responses to “Phyllis Morris — Hypocrite or Opportunist?”

  1. Anonymous said

    I attended the All Candidates Meeeing at the Town Hall and only stayed for the Mayors five minutes to address the large crowd.

    I was impressed by Mr.Dawe and his confident voice.

    Mr.Prikyrl I still cannot understand why he is running and ditto for Mr.Clowater.

    Mr.Kean …….no comment.

    As for our self impressed Mayor I would like to ask
    “Is there anything in the last 20 years that YOU are not taking credit for in our town?”

  2. Guy Poppe said

    A freedom that allows the Auroran newspaper, and the Aurora Citizen to exist and allows us mere mortals to post our thoughts. Without censorship.

    Geoffrey Dawe
    Dec 2009

    This mere mortal wished that was so

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Guy, get your friend to grant you immortality. I’m sure she can, after all she thinks she can walk on water.

  3. Anonymous said

    And, once again, it’s clear the posters here don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good smear against the mayor.

    Any apologies from the peanut gallery for getting this one wrong?

    Didn’t think so.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Pointing out Phyllis’s faults over the last four years isn’t a smear, it’s separating the truth from the spin.

    • Anonymous said

      “Anonymous” – before you start casting stones, do your homework!

      Look at the Snap July 2010 edition.

      It has a photo of Phyllis and Gaertner holding up pen and paper with the caption “Mayor Morris and wendy signing a petition against tanning beds”

      If there is an error, the error is SNAP’s…take your beef to them…

      and regardless – do you not think it’s hypocritical to sign a petition against something, when one apparently uses it oneself? that’s the point… get it?

  4. Anonymous said

    Good-Day Blog Readers,

    I just found this thread and feel like I should clarify. My name is Alex Reil and I work with the Canadian Cancer Society. The petition that Mayor Morris signed was not to ban tanning beds – I wish the person who wrote the original post would have done a little more homework before starting this commotion. The petition was to ban tanning salons TO MINORS. We know that artificial tanning at a young age significantly increases your chances of skin. The Canadian Cancer Society has been actively petitioning the provincial government to put legislation in place to limit the use of tanning beds by minors.

    I think that should clear up any misunderstandings about the petition that Mayor Morris added her name to.



    • Guy Poppe said

      Thank you, sir

      It strikes home and reminds me of the personal devastation of cancer.

      To make this a political football is ugly.

      I hope no one here or elsewhere needs to deal with this disease.

    • Anon for guy said

      A post that sounds positive for Morris and Guy re-appears.

      I know which end of the halloween costume you are in.

    • Alex, are you a spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society? Our commentary was in response to comments reported in SNAP newspaper. Have you written to them requesting a retraction/correction?

    • Anonymous said

      I hardly think that an ADULT who uses tanning salons herself is an appropriate spokesperson to discourage MINORS from using them. I believe the evidence shows that tanning beds are not healthy for ANYONE so I think it was less than prudent of you to have any user advocate for not using.

    • Mr. Spock said

      Anonymous @ 4:08 pm said:
      “…I hardly think that an ADULT who uses tanning salons herself is an appropriate spokesperson to discourage MINORS from using them…”


      I am of legal age to drive a car and I do drive a car, should that therefore preclude me from wishing to prevent a 12 year old doing so?


      Another example of the incredible logic displayed by the posters to this site.

    • You're No Vulcan said

      Comparing tanning beds to the operation of a motor vehicle?

      And you’re questioning the logic displayed by others?!

    • Daniel said

      The definition of minor will have to be made. Since it is my understanding that no person less than 16 years of age is permitted to tan in a tanning salon. This has been confirmed for me by a person who works in one of the local tanning salons. So, is the onus on the reporter who wrote the article or the Canadian Cancer Society for its poor communication of the purpose of the petition to the reporter? And to what purpose does the petition serve, to ban 16 to 18 year olds from a tanning salon? Sounds about as effective as the law against smoking under age 18.

  5. Angela said

    Perhaps instead of labelling her a hypocrit or an opportunist, you can take a min and recognize the incredible job that Mayor Morris has done for our town.
    She is a woman who understands the risks of the use of tanning beds, and is trying to help the citizens of Aurora. Claiming that she is a member of a tanning salon, doesn’t discredit her. There are plently of ex-smokers who now know the risks of smoking and are advocates for banning the sale of cigarettes.

    Before you judge our Mayor, perhaps you should sit in a council meeting and see the people that she has to deal with and work with on a daily basis. Mayor Morris loves our Town, and has looked our for the best of its citizens since her commencement as Mayor.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Can I have some of what you’re on? What colour does it make the sky?

    • Angela said

      A nice dose of Reality!
      That’s what I’m on. You should really try it.

      Who would you have running Council?
      Evelyn Buck??

      That would be albeit entertaining….completely unproductive.

      All those not in favour….

    • Anonymous said

      Yes, at the council meetings she has to work with Evilina, Bobblehead Wilson, the Lone Granger, Wendy whoo-hoo and the unelected Gallo, all of whom together don’t make up one decent brain. However she is the one who chose to make sure they are all in bed with her so…! I hope you are not referring to councillors McRoberts and Collins-Mrakas as being difficult to deal with. They have brought intelligence, logic, fairness and integrity to the table. She does not like working with Councillor Buck because she calls a spade a spade.
      So your point is????

    • KA-NON said

      I think that this is just a wind-up. That’s right isn’t, Angela? You are just taking the mickey, right?

    • Richard Johnson said


      I am willing to bet that I have witnessed at least as many council meetings as you have over the past six years and I have to say that Phyllis has been caught twisting the truth so many times recently it is hard to know where to start.

      I could go on for some time, but here are just a few examples:

      Phyllis’ campaign recently suggested that hundreds of people turned out at her campaign launch, which they suggest was more than any other candidate. An e-mail from her campaign even went as far at to suggest that it may have been the biggest campaign launch in the GTA. I guess Phyllis sees herself right up there with Smitherman, Ford and good old Hazel. I’d love to see Brian’s photos posted on Phyllis’ website as proof. I’ve heard that the actual count was more like fifty people which is at least two or three times smaller (or less) than the attendance of the Dawe launch and the Smitherman launch that I attended had thousands of people at the Convention Center so I guess it is time for a reality check on that point.

      Since last April I have been asking the town to confirm if the SENIOR staff turnover we have witnesses is typical of previous councils given that seven of eight senior staff have left the town’s employment this term. What does Phyllis do after telling a reporter that all I had to do was ask and she would provide an answer ? She ignores ALL of the related questions asked while providing statistics in a letter to the paper that address total staff turnover. Anyone that cross references my questions with the answers provided can only conclude that Phyllis appears to be distorting and twisting what she wants people to see for presumably political purposes.

      Phyllis recently made a statement at council (on the record) that no cease and desist order was ever issued to her. This is a quote from the Town minutes: “Mayor Morris stated that a rumour has been published that she had received a “Cease and Desist Order” regarding the former Integrity Commissioner and confirmed that no such Order had ever been issued and that this rumour is not true.” Phyllis is clearly playing at semantics here. The truth is that she was ordered or requested (take your pick) via a letter written by a lawyer to stop spreading incorrect and disparaging remarks against an internationally regarded ethicist and expert of corporate governance or she would face the legal repercussions of her actions. It’s too bad for Phyllis but the tape of the September 15, 2009 council meeting shows Phyllis reading the cease and desist letter and she points out that she can no longer discuss the issue because of the letter. I trust that you are aware that cease and desist notices are intended to stop potential slander and they do not in any way stop council from stating its official position or from telling the truth. The fact is that our mayor was hit with a letter of intent to commence legal proceedings against her and others (from Clr Buck) as well as a cease and desist order (from Mr. Nitkin’s lawyer) in around the same time and Phyllis is now trying to shape the facts once again.

      Take if for what you will, but it looks to me like there are grounds for the current integrity commissioner to explore if Phyllis actually broke the same section of the code of conduct that she has attacked Councillor Buck over breaching and on top of that, anyone that has witnessed this council in action can’t reasonably ignore the uneven application of the code of conduct (there are multiple examples to support that claim).

      As a result of the bad press that our town has received in the Globe, Sun, Star, National Post, CBC and in the local media, I can assure you that more than a few people are laughing at Aurora’s expense as a direct result of our Mayor’s leadership style.

      Granted, anyone who spends $50 million of our tax dollars has to be able to point to some accomplishments but the poisoned and petty atmosphere that has been created at the town hall is not as a result of great leadership from my perspective and I for one think that we need to achieve a higher level of integrity and professionalism at council than we have witnessed over the past four years.

    • KA-NON said

      Very well said Richard.

  6. Broderick Epps said

    This all smacks of opportunitism. The crafty devious sort she is Phyllis is pulling out all the stops to get her name out there. Look at her competitors. Nigel is resting on his past accomplishments and is rarely heard from. Clowater, who what is he.Dawe, again resting on his past. His name certainly not known to many. Phyllis on the other hand gets her name out there for banning tanning beds, gladhanding at TK’s or other local establishments, Mayor Blood donor Clinics,Mayor Garbage pickup day, Integrity gotcha Evelyn Commissioner Ruling etc etc.
    This get your name out there only serves to ensure that Phyllis will get re-elected regardless
    of all the well deserved negative press out there.

  7. Richard Johnson said

    You would not catch me using a tanning bed and I doubt very much that they are good for you, but as far as I see it this is just another example of political opportunism. This is low-lying fruit. Easy pickn’s, as they say. That said, if Phyllis was a member of a tanning salon one month and then signed a petition the next month, that opens up a number of fair questions. The first question has to be: Did someone finally break the big news to her about tanning beds ?

    The next BIG ISSUE on the municipal agenda will no doubt be the banning of energy drinks.

    Bring on the election so we can get down and dirty while debating what our brave new world in Aurora will look like (at least on paper) after the next election. I can see it now, jazz in the park every day, weeds everywhere, a code of conduct for ALL comments related to council, some kind of monument dedicated to the Lone Granger’s fearless leadership, a court of inquisition chaired by Wendy and Evelina, urban sprawl and a new development block solely for lawyers. In any case , it will be just what we ordered at the end of the day.

  8. I can’t seem to find this via the June edition of SNAP via their website here:

    Anyone care to provide a direct link?

    “Banning Tanning” has such a nice ring to it…..almost as silly as “right to dry”.

    I immediately wondered about the ramifications for small business owners. I doubt any of them read the narcissistic drivel that is SNAP, but it would be interesting to see the look on those business owners faces if they came across this.

    Would they see the mayor for the ethically void phony she is?
    Considering how well she plays both sides I wouldn’t doubt she has already concocted and even delivered a nice piece of “clarity” to those exact business owners.

    Regardless it certainly showcases how huge a hypocrite she is when it comes to economic development, just look at the debacle regarding the Jazz festival. In one meeting of council she conveniently recognizes that the Aurora Farmers market is an economic development initiative for the town, and then we see the same Farmers Market being forced and their paid permits claimed irrelevant, because a one-off festival that has not outlined and R.O.I. for the town is allowed to supersede them.

    There was all this commotion about running the town like a business.

    No successful business are run like this town.

    There is no retention, just a big mess, getting bigger every day.

    Another 4 years of this and Aurora will become the next B.P.

  9. Intelligent, Good & Honest Person said

    No fair! Trick question!

    Answer: BOTH!

    (To Anon Ymous – Answer: f) all of the above)

  10. Anon Ymous said

    Hypocrite, Opportunist, Fake, Phony, Unqualified… I could go on and on but the moderator would censor the words that I really want to say

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