Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Unbiased Media Perspective On Morris Lawsuit

Posted by auroracitizen on January 20, 2011

On January 12, when we published links to the factums regarding the lawsuit initiated by Phyllis Morris, we withheld comment — lest we be accused of a conflict of interest in our interpretation of the facts.

The following is reprinted from the Auroran, week of Jan 20th, 2010.

Court documents released to public

In advance of the eventually cancelled hearing into former mayor Phyllis Morris’ multi-million dollar lawsuit against three local bloggers, court documents pertaining to the case were released to the public.

These factums, filed before the courts, outline the case of Ms: Morris and the defence of Richard Johnson, Elizabeth Bishenden, and former Councillor Bill Hogg, the three named in suit among others. They also flesh out some of the gaps that have appeared in previously released documents.

Ms. Morris’ factum argues that the anonymous “malicious, false, and defamatory” statements on the Aurora Citizen blog have caused her and her reputation “serious irreparable harm:’

It further alleges that Mr. Hogg is a moderator on the site with the “power to publish, republish, encourage or delete postings or comments”, and that Elizabeth Bishenden was a one-time moderator of the website. The updated factum removes claims in earlier court papers asserting that Richard Johnson was also a moderator. He is now cited as “a frequent poster and commentator on the website:’

Earlier claims by Ms. Morris that the anonymous parties in the suit attempted to settle are also clarified in her document.

“[Jordan Goldblatt, lawyer ·for the named individuals, not representing the anonymous defendants] transmitted a settlement offer to the Plaintiff on behalf of the anonymous defendants, and therefore either knows the anonymous defendants, or has means of determining their·identity:” it states.

Citing the affidavit submitted by Town Solicitor Christopher Cooper, continues the narrative, quoting a voicemail from Mr. Goldblatt.

“…The people who made the anonymous post are prepared to have settlement discussions with you:’ it reads. “I can tell you I don’t represent these people. What I have been asked to convey to you is that if you are amenable to those kind [sic] of settlement discussions, then I will find a way to get this information back into these peoples’ hands. I’m saying plural but for all I know it could be one person and they will find a way to contact you:’

In arguing the legal principles within the document, Ms. Morris asks whether an order should be given that Mr. Hogg, Ms. Bishenden, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Goldblatt provide “certain information regarding the identity of the owner of the blog account and the blog commenters so that the true identity of the persons posting defamatory messages may be determined.

“The Plaintiff seeks to obtain the identity of the message poster(s) in order that she might properly bring action against the proper defendant(s) against whom she makes the allegations in these proceedings.

“… The moving party has been unable to obtain the information from other persons or from Automattic, Inc., and it would be unfair to force the Plaintiff to proceed with this action without having the opportunity of identifying the true defendant:’

Ms. Morris insists in the fact the “defamatory” statements in question are untrue and they are also causing her “emotional distress and fear for her safety”

Her documents also touch upon earlier assertions that a government hasn’t the right to sue its citizens, arguing there is “no blanket protection granted to those who wish to defame public servants with respect to’ the execution of their public duties”, but defendants have the defence of fair comment

“Rather than insulating anonymous persons from suit for clearly·” defamatory statements, this Court should order their identities compelled,” it states. “The anonymous defendants can thereafter plead their defences. Without knowledge of the identities of the anonymous defendants, the Plaintiff has no ability to defend her reputation in a court of law:’

On behalf of the respondents, their factum claims the court has nothing before it to evaluate Ms. Morris’ claim as her counsel has not “particularlized” the defamatory words in question.

“Morris has no evidence of urgency or irreparable harm that she will suffer if the mandatory order is not granted;’ they argue. “It is not in the public interest for this Court to order disclosure of the information sought by Morris where anonymous commentators have a right to remain anonymous in their criticism of an elected-government official.”

The defendants’ factum states that while Mr. Cooper has submitted an affidavit in the case· in his capacity as Town Solicitor, Ms. Morris herself has “proffered no evidence on the motion.” Their factum, however, relies heavily on Mr. Cooper’s affidavit and subsequent cross-examination by their own counsel.

“The allegation made against the individual defendants on this motion is that they are moderators of the website who have access to IP addresses that can be used to track down the identities of the anonymous bloggers” their factum states. “However, Cooper accepted on·cross-examination that he has no information with regard to whether moderators are provided with IP addresses.”

Further nuggets highlighted from Mr. Cooper’s affidavit. include that it claims Mr. Hogg is a moderator of the: website and that this information was given to Mr. Cooper by Mr. Hogg himself. It was revealed that on cross-examination, however, “Cooper more candidly admitted that Mr. Hogg never told him that he was a moderator of [the Aurora Citizen)]:”

Similarly, it goes on to state that Ms. Bishenden and Mr. Johnson are not alleged to have been moderators.”

There is no allegation in the affidavit material that Mr. Johnson ever was or is a moderator:” their factum states. “Cooper admitted on cross-examination that Mr. Johnson is not alleged to be a moderator, and that there is no allegation in the affidavit material that Mr. Johnson was or is a moderator:”

Several legal hurdles have to be overcome by Ms. Morris for her motion to be successful, the defendants go on to argue in their factum. p

“Morris must establish an underlying claim exists: the words complained of have never been particularized; the plaintiff is a government actor that cannot sue for defamation; and the notice provisions under the libel and Slander  act have not been complied with”

To strip the Aurora Citizen of its ability to provide anonymity to its posters “on matters of public interest would be a significant imposition and would chill public political discourse” the defence argues. There would be no harm to Ms. Morris should she not obtain the identities of the anonymous posters, they continue.

“Indeed, ‘many’ police complaints have already been initiated, such that if there were any legitimate threat to her, one would assume Police would take ample precautions:’

But this is a matter of free speech, speech that should be protected, they conclude.

“Where the speech in question is geared towards attaining truth, where it is regarding political decision-making, and where self-fulfilment and human flourishing ought to be cultivated in an essentially tolerant, indeed welcoming, environment, the speech in question must be protected.

“While Morris may not agree with the comments about her governing reputation, they are nonetheless constitutionally protected”

The hearing is now scheduled for March 15.

30 Responses to “Unbiased Media Perspective On Morris Lawsuit”

  1. Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

    After reading the most recent posts on this subject, I thought I might be of some assistance in clarifying roles.

    Instead of explaining the roles of council, I’ll let you read for yourselves: (the important bit on the role of staff and council is at the bottom of the page)

    This is section 224 of the Municipal Act, explaining the role of council:

    The City of Peterborough has a very easy to follow FAQ site that explains the roles very clearly. Since they say that the Head of Council (the Mayor) is the CEO and is NOT a civic employee:

    hope that helps.

    • Well intended said

      This does not tell most of us anything we didn’t already know. Common sense is the order of the day.

      But nowhere does the Municipal Act authorize a town Council to retain external lawyers to commence a legal action against members of the community on behalf of a mayor as alleged victim of defamation. This is a complete farce.

      Why not ask the question of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General? One or the other or both should be able to provide the defining answer.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      The question of whether elected officials are employees of the municipality has been answered.They are not hired nor can they be fired.

      Regional Councillors receive the same benefits as employees. they are not provided in the region’s accounts. For a reason. I do not know, the benefit package is provided at the municipal level.

      Aurora Councillors do not enjoy benefits. It’s probably not true in other municipalities.

      A benefit package does not establish an elected official as an employee.

      The former Mayor once asked the solicitor in a public meeting, apropos of nothing, to give his opinion on whether or not the Mayor is an employee.

      He opined that she was.

      I think Ms Morris was contemplating a complaint of harassment in the workplace against me. It was before they hit on the idea of a Code of Conduct and an Integrity Commissioner.

      The Mayor was exasperated by persistent reminders of the limits to her authority.

      She was overheard to complain I was not allowing her to do her job and was still looking for the right club to beat me.

      Nevertheless, the reality still is, an elected official is neither hired nor can they be fired. If they were, who would do the hiring? A panel of appointed officials? Who would give them the authority?

      Would elected officials be subject to the authority of the Chief Administrative Officer or perhaps the Clerk of the Municipality? Or the policies of the workplace?

      There was murkiness there in the past term. There may still be in the minds of some.

      To the question of whether the municipality is responsible for protecting the reputation of elected or appointed officials, I would answer that question with a question. If either abused their position and created scandal, is the municipality responsible for defending their actions?

      Are officials of the Bloorview school who have apparently been charged with misappropriation of school resources, entitled to sue for defamation against the officers who laid the charges? Are they entitled to have legal expenses paid by Bloorview School?

      I think not.

      Finally we come to the role of the electorate. Does their judgment count?

      I think so. It is not hiring or firing in an employment status. It certainly has the same result.

      The decision can never be misconstrued.

  2. Anonymous said

    As with any lawsuit, the purpose is to make the plaintiff whole again and not to advance their position, hence they’re called damages. In this case the former Mayor claims, in her statement of claim, that the damages are in the millions and the damages’ award, if proven, will be limited to making her whole again. And maybe a portion of her costs. This is a pretty simple concept to understand.

    Any claims that the council acted without authority because the purpose of the exercise was personal gain is non-sensical. Those that voted for it, as I understand it, stand to gain nothing. As for the former Mayor’s personal gain, read the first paragraph again.

    • Rainbows & Unicorns said

      Yep, “non-sensical” (sic) you know about.

    • Kelli said

      First of all Mayor Morris was not harassed in the workplace – if you even call peoples opinions harassment – Mayor Morris had opinions expressed about her in a public blog about her work…. how is this harassment “IN” the workplace?

      I know if someone expressed their opinions about me and my work ethic on this blog my current boss would not be hiring his business solicitor to defend my name …..

  3. Anonymous said

    To Luckywife.

    If we leave the word Mayor out of it for now, do you agree that an employee of the Town should be afforded a reasonable level of protection to be free of harassment in the work place? If that work place includes exposure to the public and some members of the public ran the employee down, don’t you agree that the Town would be duty bound to do something to prevent the abusive behaviour. I beleive the CAO and / or the Town Solicitor stepped in on at least one occassion, if not more, to reign in the comments that were posted on this blog.

    If an employee claimed he was defamed in the course of this work with the Town, I would think the Town would be responsible to provide some relief for the employee. If for no other reason that to protect its own reputation. Imagine an employee accused of criminal activity in the course of preforming his duties and no reponse from the Town. Eventually the allegations might take hold and the employee can no longer effectively carry out their duties. What does the Town do then – terminate the employee without cause? allow the allegations to stand and accept that members of the public who have a choice, choose to do business elswhere? Or maybe it’s just as simple as the employee in no longer trusted and simple transactions get bogged down in checks and balances and written contracts.

    If you agree that the corporation has a responsibility / need to protect the reputations of it’s employees then the only discussion that remains is whether or no the Mayor is an employee. Other writers argue that because an elected official can’t be fired they can’t be employees doesn’t carry alot of water. Judges can’t be fired and they certainly are employees of the government. If I remember correctly, Federal politicians get a severance package after a certain number of years of service. They’re considered employees even if they are elected.

    No matter how much we’re offended by this notion that some elected officials are in fact employees, this is the deal they’ve cut themselves. And if it turns out that Phyllis Morris was an employee, the debate may not be limited to defamation.

    • Rainbows & Unicorns said

      I’ll have whatever you’re having (smoking, drinking…).

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 10:02 p.m.

      I certainly agree that we all are entitled to a reasonable level of protection from harassment in the workplace. The law demands it.

      Please provide me with particulars of when the Mayor, a Councillor or a staff member was harassed in the workplace. Please keep in mind that the Aurora Citizen blog, the pages of The Auroran or any other social or print media is NOT the workplace of any member of Council or Staff.

      Do you believe that a Politician or Municipal Corporation has the authority to define, for the public they serve, what is harassment versus comment, opinion or criticism?

      Lest you think that I do not understand the difference—–If a member of the public were to go to Town Hall, enter the Mayor’s office, with the intention to verbally abuse, threaten or physically harm or intimidate the Mayor—- that is harassment. I would fully expect for that person to be escorted off of the premises by security and/or the police called.

      If I write on a blog, or send a letter to the newspaper that the Mayor is doing a lousy job, that I won’t be voting for them and that I don’t think anyone else should either, that is opinion. If I get into the specifics of why—- that’s comment and criticism.


    • Anonymous said

      To Luckywife.

      If for a moment we agree that the Mayor is an employee, then we agree that Town has an obligation to protect that employee.

      The former Mayor claims that the comments in the blog were not fair comment on her performance, but were an attack on her character and defamatory.

      The current council didn’t debate if the blog entries were fair comment or defamatory and they didn’t debate if the Mayor is an employee or not. The only question was whether the Town should fund the lawsuit. Did they get a legal opinion regarding the questions of employer – employee relationship? Fair comment or defamation?

      I hope this is not an example of the due diligence that we can expect going forward.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      If a person is responsible for building his/her own reputation,and I would argue they are, would it be reasonable to expect responsibility for protecting that reputation might be the person who created it and worked hard to maintain it.

      The only asset of any value a politician has is a good reputation.

      If he/she steps over the line of appropriate behaviour, why is anyone else responsible for protecting it.

      If a person does not possess sufficient judgment to know what is acceptable conduct, why should anyone be expected to compensate for the lack of judgment.

      We live in a free society and along with freedom goes responsibility.

      A person without judgment, in a public office, appointed or elected, is bound to come to an ignominious end.They can’t help themselves and neither can anyone else.

    • Anonymous said

      If I understand Councilor Buck correctly, an employee of any corporation who is defamed solely because of the actions he or she takes in the course of their occupation, should be left to their own devices to protect and preserve their reputation. Imagine having a key employee that no longer has the confidence of your clients or the public. The Councilor’s response – too bad employee, you’re on your own. Too bad for the employer, because the consequences will undoubtedly be felt throughout the corporation. Even if Councilor Buck doesn’t understand this I trust the rest of the Council and the majority of the public do.

      I understand that elected officials serve at the pleasure of the voting public and when you fall out of favour it’s over and you move on. I would hope that in a country like ours, when the ballots are finished being counted it’s only your seat that you loose.

      And indeed in a free society, your freedoms come with responsibilities. And the freedom of speech comes also with certain responsibilities. And if the line between fair comment and defamation is crossed there may be consequences. I would expect all responsilbe citizens to understand that and conduct themselves accordingly.
      But none of this really answers the questions at the heart of this matter. Is the Mayor an employee? Surely the Council of the day has asked this question? And secondly are the blog entries fair comment or defamatory? Both these questions are legal in nature and thus I’m hopeful that the Council has sought a legal opinion on this matter.

      We can go around and around this all day and night, but I think in the end we can all agree, except maybe Councilor Buck, that the Town has a responsibility to provide protection to it’s employees in the course of their duties and that this protection isn’t limited to bodily harm. And if comments made on a public media, such as this one, are alleged to be defamatory the corporation has a responsibility to investigate and respond accordingly.

      I’m sure Councilor Buck isn’t the only elected official who reads this blog, so I invite any and all of them to confirm for the public whether the Mayor is an employee or not? And that decision to cut-off funding of the former Mayor’s lawsuit was based on sound professional advice.

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 9:05 a.m.

      I neither agreed nor disagreed with you that the former Mayor was an employee. I will state again that it is not relevant to this situation.

      First and foremost it is the role of a Mayor and Council to serve the public interest. The public does not serve them.

      As a member of the public, how does it serve your interest to have your tax dollars used for the sole benefit of the former Mayor?

      Who gave the former Mayor and her five friends the authority to decide what constitutes fair comment about their own performance? I certainly didn’t. No where on my ballot did it indicate that I must surrender my Charter Rights to an elected official once they are voted into office.

      Do you seriously believe that there is no conflict of interest to have politicians determine in what form or even if the public is allowed to critique their job performance?

      With all due respect, if the former council had done its “due diligence”, i.e. read the Municipal Act, we wouldn’t be in this mess.


    • Anonymous said


      How would reading the Municipal Act change the situation? Has the act been violated? Stop the emotional reaction and look at the facts.

    • Anonymous said

      To Luckywife.

      But isn’t that the question – is the Mayor an employee of the Town?

      If memory serves me – the Council at that time gave a the staff a very broad mandate to curb alleged defamatory statements on the blog. Having said this, from all that I have seen up to now, it was staff that decided to retain outside solicitors to deal with the matter. This is re-inforced by comments from councilors of the time claiming they had no idea that their motion would result in a lawsuit.

      Granted, neither you nor I nor the Council (then or now) can determine what is defamatory and what is fair comment. And I think you agree with me that fair comment should be encouraged and welcomed, but defamation should not. I would hope that the outside solicitors are experienced in this area of law and that it was their determination that legal action should be brought forth. In the end, the courts decide what is fair comment and what is defamation.

      If there is an absence of professional advice, the decision by the current council would appear more like a hasty attempt to keep election promises than good governance.

      Like you, I don’t like to see my tax dollars wasted. And perhaps it can be argued that the former mayor isn’t the best test case, but allowing alleged defamation of character of an elected offical to stand deters good canidates from running for office. We all loose then.

    • Anonymous said

      To Anonymous at 10:02
      I would suggest that you are very naive if you believe that it was purely a staff decision to pursue a lawsuit against citizens. Surely in the 4 years of last term you realised that NO decision was made without the ex-mayor’s (and probably Evilina’s) stamp of approval. Just because other councillors claim not to have known until after the fact, doesn’t mean that none at the council table knew.

  4. Anonymous said

    I think that you will find that Ms. Morris went through a process with the Town solicitor to determine if she was an employee. In his opinion, she was – the councillors were not.

    • Anonymous said

      Was she not elected also?
      Could the citizen’s of Aurora have FIRED her?

      if the answers are yes to the first and no for the second, then she is not a employee but an elected official.

      i’m sure if she could have been fired, that would have happened about 3mths into the last term….

    • Luckywife said

      The Town Solicitor’s opinion and $1.52 will get Morris a coffee at Tim’s.

      The Town Solicitor’s role as Director of Legal Services is to represent the Corporation, a non entity. The only people that can defame or threaten the reputation of the Corporation are the individuals that represent it. As far as I know, none of those people were named Hogg, Bishenden or Johnson. IMO, Morris and the Five were not the only ones who overstepped.

    • Anonymous said

      In some municipalities (not Aurora) incumbant members of council that are defeated at the polls, receive severence packages. Are they employees? Hard to under your logic – 10:27pm.

      To Luckywife, your anger is blinding your common sense. Say what you think about the Town solicitor, that person is paid a large amount of money for doing what they do. The fact that it was under Morris’ watch is not an issue. The solicitor works under Dawe. Are the opinions now suddenly valid?

      Time to grow up.

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 8:16 p.m.

      Thank you for your response. It is always nice when I can start my day with a hearty chuckle.

      I don’t see how resorting to insulting me adds anything to the civil discussion that I thought we were having here, but if I am lacking in common sense, how could I?

      If being nasty and disrespectful is what you need to feel superior, knock yourself out, it is of little indifference to me, but it adds nothing to the debate and serves no good purpose.

  5. Anonymous said

    The Mayor is an ELECTED official. Not an employee of the town. If the Mayor receives all of these benefits then do Councilors also get these benefits and if not, why not? What makes the Mayor so special that the position receives these benefits and Councilors do not? They are all elected. What’s the difference? This concept does not make sense. To be an employee of the town is to be hired by the town. We elect these officials. We do not hire them!

    • Unemployed said

      The position of mayor is considered a full-time job, as along with it goes the representation on Regional Council.

      If memory serves each pays in the neighbourhood of $50,000 per year.

      Town Councillors receive less than $25,000 and obviously are part-time.

  6. Paul Sesto said

    Referencing Sean Pearce’s January 17th Banner article “Morris suit delayed” (–morris-suit-delayed ) the last 2 sentences read:

    “The new council has voted to end the town’s involvement in the matter. As of last month, the town had been billed $43,000 in legal fees.
    Those bills have yet to be paid, Mayor Geoff Dawe said, adding the town is exploring its options.” (end of reference)

    Citing the “Anit-SLAPP Advisory Panel: Report to the Attorney General” October 28, 2010 report (previously mentioned at the Aurora Citizen) and pdf version found at ( )at page i under Issue 2: Appropriate remedies for SLAPP suits

    ” 10. If the case is dismissed, full indemnity costs should be awarded to the defendant. [44]” (end of reference)

    Putting these 2 pieces of information together, perhaps there is much more to the Town’s involvement than the general public can see. If the Town pays the legal bill will the Town be liable for full or even partial indemnity costs to the defendants Hogg, Bishenden and Johnson. Even if the Town doesn’t pay the bill they have been involved through their actions and could be responsible for damages if the case is dismissed. If the case is dismissed the 3 defendants as a minimum should not be out of pocket for any or all legal expenses. This is going to cost more than the current $43,000 to right this wrong.

  7. A member of the public said

    The arguments contained in the three factums that have been published in full do not appear to offer former mayor Morris much chance of success. But that is for the court to decide.

    What really bothers me, and this point was really brought home in the excellent program just hosted by Alison Collins-Mrakas on The Auroran’s new on-line service, is the matter of public funding by the town of a personal lawsuit against three citizens.

    To date we are aware of approximately $43,000 in legal billings by Aird & Berlis for the months of September and October. What is their additional billing for November and that portion of December up until the 21st when council decided to halt further funding of this personal suit?

    The town CAO has been quoted as saying that the town is responsible for paying the $43,000. On what grounds does he make this statement and was he authorized to do so, and if so, by whom? Will these legal bills ever be paid by the town? I hope most strongly they will not.

    Apart from the inappropriateness of publicly funding a personal lawsuit, Ms. Collins-Mrakas makes the excellent observation relating to the factual basis on which members of council reached the decision during the September 14/15 council meeting. How was it possible for these few individuals, ignorant of the law of defamation, to decide to order the town Solicitor to proceed and retain external legal counsel to pursue this matter via any and all means at the public’s expense.

    Not only does Ms. Collins-Mrakas find this rather bizarre – usually it is a matter for the court to rule as to whether defamation has occurred or not – she also muses that there must have been one or more conflicts of interest during the discussion that took place that evening/early morning, and these could have involved any number of the participants.

    So far I do not see the town taking a firm and unequivocal stand with respect to the legal bills incurred by Morris. With respect to the suit, that will unfold over time.

    • Anonymous said

      I found Ms.Collins-Mrakas’ analysis of the situation most informative, thorough and refreshing. How nice it is to hear it from a “cool head” with such logical and analytical skills; someone who can argue the many different facts and draw logical conclusions. How I will miss her abilities this term!
      There is still one thing that I really do not understand about this whole situation. The town solicitor works for the town and I think his function is to provide legal advice to protect the corporation. The ex-mayor is not and never was “the corporation” and the comments on the blog never were about “the corporation.” How on earth was this allowed to happen in the first place? Why was the town, i.e. the corporation, solicitor getting involved in a personal lawsuit and sanctioning that the town would pay for the ex-mayor’s piece of it?
      Can anyone out there explain this to me because I truly do not understand?

    • Stephanie said

      I just watched Ms. Collins-Mrakas’ show as well — her analysis and views were very well-stated and made a lot of sense. Quite impressive. Her observations were “spot on” as far as I’m concerned.


    • Anonymous said

      I guess the question is ” is the Mayor an employee of the Corporation? ”

      If the answer is “yes”, then the corporation has a duty to provide a safe workplace, free from harassment, etc. The corporation has a legal responsibilty to fulfil it’s duties.

      If the answer is “no”, then the former Mayor (or any Mayor) are on their own. End of story.

      I’m not sure, but I think the Mayor has benefits, participates in a pension plan, receives vacation pay, etc. If this is the case, then that pretty well somes up an employer – employee relationship. The spigot that was first opened when the corporation decided to fund Ms. Morris’ case may not be that just turned off without a cost being incurred.

    • Anonymous said

      To anonymous 9:32 pm

      You state that simply by virtue of the fact that members of council receive compensation for the performance of their duties that they are employees or have an “employer-employee” relationship.

      With due respect, there is a rather significant flaw in your logic.

      Unlike employees, elected officials cannot be fired. If they could, we would see many a politician turfed out for “poor performance”.

      Politicians are elected by not employed by the electorate. For obvious reasons.

      Members of council receive compensation for the performance of their elected function. They do not receive a “wage” or “salary”. They are not members of staff nor are they on par with members of staff. To suggest otherwise is to negate the autonomy and authority of elected office.

    • Luckywife said

      To Anonymous 9:32 p.m.

      The tomato/tomatoes debate about whether a Mayor and Council are employees of The Corporation is irrelevant to this situation.

      Workplace harassment legislation and policies exist to protect employees in the workplace from harassment by their peers or superiors.

      We, the public, including the defendants in this case are NOT employees of The Corporation, are not subjects of, or accountable to The Corporation, or any of its political representatives or appointees. Period. When the former council directed The Corporation to undertake this action they overstepped their authority. There is no section of the Municipal Act or wording that allows for public funds to be used, approved or dispersed for the personal gain of any single individual.

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