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Burlington City Council Waives Privilege to Disclose Initial Legal Budget for Development Application Appeals

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*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — Sept. 21, 2022 — At the Sept. 20, 2022 Burlington City Council Meeting, City Staff brought forward report L-46 -22 for Council’s consideration to waive solicitor-client privilege in order to release the initial legal budget approved by Council earlier this year related to ongoing litigation involving the appeals to the Ontario Lands Tribunal for the development applications for 2020 Lakeshore Rd.

City Council voted earlier this year to refuse the applications for Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment submitted by Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. proposing a mixed-use development at the site of the current Waterfront Hotel. This decision by Council led the applicant to appeal to the Ontario Lands Tribunal.

Council accepted the Staff recommendation to waive solicitor-client privilege and release the initial legal budget due to an inadvertent disclosure by Councillor Lisa Kearns of the legal budget.

The initial legal budget for this litigation has been set at $500,000. In all other respects, solicitor-client privilege continues to apply to the legal strategy concerning 2020 Lakeshore Rd.

Upon learning of the inadvertent disclosure, Councillor Kearns took immediate and proactive steps to notify City staff and Council of the breach. Councillor Kearns directly contacted the Integrity Commissioner regarding this matter.

Councillor Kearns also offered an apology to Council for the inadvertent release of this information.

City Council accepted the apology offered by Councillor Kearns.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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