Windsor’s Integrity Commissioner Receives More Complaints

A photo of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens twitter page taken from a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner, May 9 2018. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

There is political fallout from Windsor City Council’s decision Monday night to sanction Ward 3 Councillor Rino Bortolin.

Two more complaints have been filed to Integrity Commissioner, Bruce Elman. One was filed by resident┬áJessica Bondy against Ward 2 Councillor Jon Elliott for his “man up” comment during the debate. The other is against Mayor Drew Dilkens.

Higher Limits co-owner Jon Liedtke’s grievance goes back two years when the mayor blocked him on social media for what Liedtke calls a dissenting opinion. He says he did not file his complaint before now because he believed using the Integrity Commissioner to settle the dispute could be interpreted as frivolous, but the discussion in council chambers changed his mind.

“I’ve been awakened. I’ve been inspired. I’ve come to see what the code of conduct is for,” he says. “This is a very important document. We have an integrity commissioner for a reason. He acts for a reason, so thank you to the mayor. Thank you to the elected officials for making me come to realize that this integrity commissioner is a very important role and it should be utilized when necessary. So, I thank the mayor for his rousing words earlier this week.”

Liedtke denies he’s facetious, saying by blocking him, Dilkens has prevented him from taking part in public discourse.

“They’re using it to hamper down and remove people who dissent with their opinions and their policies,” he says. “I hope that I can resolve this matter with Mayor Dilkens. Maybe we can get a coffee, but we’ve got to put out of our mind any criticisms after the fact, and that is what the integrity commissioner can do.”

Bortolin was reprimanded Monday night and asked to make an apology for comments he made to the media about spending priorities. At the time, Bortolin suggested while the city had money to spend on the Bright Lights Festival and to restore a streetcar, it did not have the money to install a street light in an alley where a rape occurred. Later Bortolin admitted there had been no rape and apologized saying he was referring to crime in general.

“I think it was a justified complaint against Councillor Bortolin if you’re going to read directly into the words of the code of conduct are and apply them 100% without consideration,” says Liedtke.

The second complaint against Bortolin was filed for alleged behaviour at a Windsor West Liberal Riding Association meeting in March where he had a verbal confrontation with other members over allegations of racism.

While the Integrity Commissioner receives complaints from the public, he is not obligated to investigate and report back on all of them.