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Lawsuit alleges Robertson conflict over HootSuite deal as election campaign ramps up early

February 17th, 2014 · 27 Comments

So here is the actual text of the lawsuit that the Cedar Party’s Glen Chernen and Co have launched against the mayor with respect to the HootSuite lease, which various other media have been reporting on.

I have yet to talk to any municipal-law lawyers about this, but my understanding from past coverage on this murky issue is that conflict is not as easy to define as it appears among those who throw the term around in conversation.

I remember Sam Sullivan once excused himself for voting on something involving the whole neighbourhood where he lived, a move that lawyers said was an excess of caution, since councillors can vote on issues where they have an “interest in common” with many others. If that weren’t true, no councillor could vote on, for example, taxes, since they are affected by any increase in taxes.

So the issue in a conflict case typically is — did the council member or a direct relative benefit directly by a decision that the council member voted on.

However, I’m sure there are better armchair lawyers out there than me. Any thoughts on the points raised here?


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