Holder files complaint against van Holst

Mayor Ed Holder. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

As promised, London Mayor Ed Holder has filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner against Councillor Michael van Holst.

The mayor released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, confirming that he has filed the complaint with Greg Stewart, after van Holst attended and spoke at an anti-vaccine mandate rally in Victoria Park on the weekend.

“This was a decision made after significant deliberation, and not without some measure of regret,” Holder said. “I take no delight in pursuing this course of action. However, I believe fundamentally that our responsibilities as elected officials are paramount, along with the Code of Conduct for Members of Council to which we’ve all sworn to adhere.”

In his statement, Holder said he believes van Holst has “visibly sought to defy and undermine Council policy, specifically with respect to proof of COVID-19 vaccination.”

“The authority to rule on such matters rests with the Integrity Commissioner, and I have every confidence he will consider the concerns raised with fairness, impartiality, and professionalism. I pledge to respect whatever determination is ultimately made,” he added.

According to the Ontario Municipal Act, the maximum penalty that Stewart could impose is a loss of three months of pay.

van Holst has opposed anti-COVID measures throughout the pandemic, even going to the point of starting his own “creed” in order to file for an exemption from vaccine mandates.

He’s been the Ward 1 councillor since 2014.