Carlson disputes article


Emo Mayor Ed Carlson says information reported in last week’s Times regarding a 2009 report from the Ontario ombudsman’s office and the township hiring an independent meeting investigator, which was part of the article on the municipal election in Emo, was inaccurate.
Carlson, defeated by Vince Sheppard in the Oct. 25 election, noted Ontario Ombudsman André Marin issued a report in January, 2009 detailing an investigation into a meeting held by Emo council in April, 2008 to discuss matters related to the abattoir project.
But he stressed the ombudsman’s office was unable to establish that Emo council had done anything wrong.
“There were no violations of the Municipal Act. We proved that,” Carlson noted.
“In his report, he [Marin] tried to do a hatchet job to us,” Carlson charged. “But with the help of an actual municipal lawyer that knows the law, his report came back and said Emo council did nothing wrong on any of these issues.”
After dealing with the ombudsman, Emo council then decided to hire independent meeting investigator Paul Heayn, who also has been hired by Fort Frances, Dryden, Kenora, and several other regional municipalities.
While it sounds like hiring the provincial ombudsman is free, Carlson said that’s not exactly the case.
“When he starts the investigation, it’s all done from Toronto, none of it’s done here,” Carlson explained.
“And it costs you thousands of dollars, and countless man hours, to try and satisfy [the ombudsman],” he added.
“We all took Paul Heayn, who has 35 years of municipal experience, who knows what he’s doing,” Carlson said.
“He comes to your community and he actually sits down and looks at all avenues with an unbiased outlook on it.”
For the original story on the ombudsman’s report, published in the March 4, 2009 edition of the Times, go to: