- Posted by Angela Chaisson
- On January 5, 2022
Andrea Budarick’s lawyer Angela Chaisson of Millard and & Co has persuaded the Divisional Court to grant a temporary stay on an order ordering her seat on Brudenell Lyndoch and Raglan (BLR) Council vacant. BLR township is one of the smallest municipalities in the country with a council of five members, including Budarick.
On November 22, 2021 an Ontario Court Justice ruled that Budarick had participated in discussions related to fire department billing that had amounted to a contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA), the Madawaska Valley Current reports. (https://bit.ly/3pD6y9y)
The BLR Fire Department had attended the property of Budarick’s adult son in August 2019 and he had been issued an invoice for that visit. In September 2019, BLR Municipal Council reviewed a number of Fire Services invoices, including the one issued to Budarick’s son. Budarick declared a conflict of interest at the meeting but did not speak to, vote on, or attempt to influence the outcome of the meeting with regards to her son’s invoice. At a later closed meeting, Budarick excused herself before anything related to the Fire Department invoices was discussed.
Budarick’s appeal argues that the application judge made six errors in his judgment finding her in contravention of the MCIA and excluding her from council, including; erroneous interpretations of the MCIA with regards to scope and time limits of bringing the application and consideration of the spectrum of penalties provided. The appeal also contents that “the applicant made no attempt to hide her conflict; on the contrary, she declared it over email, in writing at the start of meetings and orally… These actions clearly contradict the inference that the Appellant recklessly breached her obligations intentionally and knowingly. Rather, they show the Appellant was extremely concerned and took many steps to avoid breaching her obligation”
The stay extends until December 3rd when the court will hear full argument on the request that the stay remains in place until the appeal is heard in January of 2022.