(Brampton) At City Council on Wednesday, December, 13th a majority of councillors voted against independent oversight of our City. They refused to support a motion that I brought forward asking City Council to appoint an Independent Auditor General.
When I was elected in 2014 I stated in my inaugural speech that there are many challenges ahead, but I committed to you that I would tell it like it is and that I wasn’t going to sugar-coat what was happening at City Hall. This is one of those times.
When I first arrived in the Mayor’s office I had grave concerns regarding how business was carried out by city staff on behalf of our residents. It’s the reason I invited Jim McCarter – the former Provincial Auditor - to Brampton and it’s also the reason I reached out to the Ontario Ombudsman.
Following an investigation into municipal practices at the city on procurement (March 2017), the Ombudsman of Ontario suggested that establishing an independent, permanent auditor general would help re-establish the public’s confidence in the city and ensure that the public trusts the city to act accountably, openly, and transparently.
Accountability, openness and transparency are the three commitments I made to the residents of Brampton during my campaign for Mayor. Under my administration, the city has taken numerous proactive steps to strengthen those principles, but there is always room for improvement.
It is no secret that Brampton’s past is filled with controversy, leading many residents to lose trust in the city – including the recent Peel Regional Police investigation into the Out of Policy Request scandal from previous terms of council.
In order to rid ourselves of the baggage of the past we need to welcome the scrutiny of oversight. I believe financial accountability, openness and transparency are priceless and critical to inspiring public confidence in local government. Those councillors who voted against an independent Auditor General have failed our residents. There is no rational argument to support their position. In this day and age the public has every right to know what’s happening at City Hall. The old style thinking that these Councillors have employed for years has not served Brampton well. It’s time for fresh thinking that will move Brampton forward. I will continue to fight for the taxpayers of our city and ensure that City Hall is financially accountable, open and transparent.
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Jaskaran Singh Sandhu
Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Office of the Mayor
City of Brampton
905.874.2000 ext. 47005 firstname.lastname@example.org