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Councillors stand in solidarity to promote drunk driving

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by alexd, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Talk about bad optics. Politicians are usually the first to say that they can't comment on their own scandals and malfeasance because "the matter is before the courts", so I am really puzzled and dismayed to see them all step up to the plate to defend one of their own for drunk driving.

    Like WTF!

    Paula Fletcher, my own Councillor, was even there too. This is just appallingly bad. Way to go to curry favor with a centrist Councillor there Paula. You suck.



    From the Star:



    The CEO of MADD Canada says it is “deplorable” that some city councillors publically stood beside a teary-eyed Ana Bailao as the politician announced she intended to plead not guilty to impaired driving charges.

    “It sends a message to the Toronto public — which I can tell you that constituents do not support — that it’s okay to drink and drive in Toronto and it’s a mistake if you get caught,” said Andrew Murie. “To be blunt, I think it’s deplorable.”

    Speaking publicly for the first time since her arrest early Tuesday morning — and flanked by a handful of Councillors from the left and right —Bailao thanked her constituents, colleagues, family and friends for their support.

    “I am confident I will be able to demonstrate their faith in me is not misplaced,” she said. “These charges will in no way affect my ability to do the job I was elected to do. I intend to plead not guilty. I assure you that I am taking these charges very seriously and I will continue to cooperate with the legal process.”

    A little less than four hours after the Ward 18 Davenport Councillor left the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts Monday night, an officer from 14 division spotted Bailao driving north on Bathurst Street without her headlights on, said a police source.

    The 36-year-old initially didn’t pull over for police. She was stopped at Bathurst and Harbord Sts. at 1:47 a.m — four minutes after the first sighting, said the source.

    The centrist Councillor was charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level of 80 mg per 100 ml of blood. The latter charge indicates she submitted to a breathalyzer test.

    On Wednesday, Bailao said she could not comment on details of the allegations as the issue is before the courts. She would not say how many drinks she consumed before getting behind the wheel.

    It’s not clear where Bailao was between the time she left the ball around 10 p.m. to the time she was apprehended, but a number of councillors were planning on going out to the nearby Thompson Hotel lounge at Bathurst and Wellington Sts. after the event.

    A Thompson Hotel official said they are not commenting.

    After the news of Bailao’s arrest broke Tuesday afternoon, her colleagues on council rushed to her defence, expressing surprise, praising her character and work ethic, and noting that people make mistakes.

    “We’ve all made mistakes. She’s a great Councillor and I support her. It’s unfortunate, as I said, but we all make mistakes,” Mayor Rob Ford — who was arrested for impaired driving 12 years ago — said at the time.

    At her press conference Bailao was flanked by left-wing councillor Pam McConnell and right-wing councillor Frances Nunziata. A number of other councillors, including Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Josh Colle, Josh Matlow and Doug Ford, stood to the side and offered words of support afterwards.

    Asked if it was appropriate for elected-officials to stand in public solidarity alongside someone charged with impaired driving, many explained they were doing so out of friendship.

    “It’s an absurd correlation to suggest that one must support both things. Ana is a friend. I was there to support a friend of mine, not the actions that she’s been accused of,” said Matlow.

    Said Colle: “Sure I think it’s appropriate that’s why I was there. She’s going through a tough time. I don’t know the details and I assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

    Fletcher said it was a “wake-up call” to politicians who are frequently required to attend events with alcohol.

    Added McConnell: “I was honoured (to have been asked)” she said. “I think when (regular) people are charged from the public there aren’t 800 cameras and microphones in their face.”

    But Murie had a different take.

    “I’m sick and tired of people discounting the seriousness of impaired driving,” he said. “Part of what they should be saying to her is step up. Not be sitting there and teary eyed and saying I’m going to plead not guilty. If I’m a true friend I’m going to say to her: be a leader. Be accountable.”

    Murie pointed to the example set by British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who was charged with impaired driving in 2003.

    “When he got caught he said ‘I’m guilty.’ He didn’t try to defend himself and say it was a mistake. He took his punishment. He quit drinking. He did a bunch of things to say the onus is on me,” said Murie.

    Bailao would not say on what grounds she was pleading innocent. When asked how the arrest was impacting her personally, the rookie councillor’s voice cracked.

    “It’s a difficult situation. You’ve never been through anything even remotely similar. Obviously it affects you personally. And now I’m just willing to cooperate with the legal process and follow the instructions of my lawyer and continue to do my work,” she said.

    Bailao is scheduled to appear in Old City Hall court Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. in courtroom 111.

    Councillor Ana Bailao will plead not guilty to drunk driving charges - thestar.com
     
  2. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    I hope the bunch of them stand together again to condemn Bailao when she's convicted.
     
  3. R4V4G3D_SKU11S

    R4V4G3D_SKU11S TRIBE Member

    If she blew over, then is that not automatically guilty?

    Even if she were to plead not guilty, would it not be on a technicality, and not disputing that she was over the limit?
     
  4. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    It's entirely possible to support a friend and condemn their actions, just as it is possible to maintain a friendship across party/ideological lines.
     
  5. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Where was the condemming?
     
  6. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    Rick Vaive blew over. pled not guilty, and watched his lawyer get the charge dropped.
    she's doing the same right now, seeing if the cops dropped the ball.
     
  7. agentRC4

    agentRC4 TRIBE Member

    Its a real shame. She should just women up and admit it, take her lumps and move on. This just makes her look silly. Especially when she says she pleaded not guilty to ensure she can still serve her constituents better. Please. She blew over, was speeding and no headlights. Stupid is as stupid does.
     
  8. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    thought i read somewhere it took her 4 minutes to pull over once the cop lit the cherries up.
     
  9. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    Switch Ana Bailao with Rob Ford, would the situation have played out the same or would they be calling for his head?

    Diplicity at it's best
     
  10. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    I dunno Ford and right-wingers were there, if a friend I knew had this happen I'd be supportive too - hate the sin not the sinner guys!

    What we're seeing is evidence of social bonds existing between councilors - I think that's a good thing if we want people working together to make good policy.
     
  11. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    he got elected. and no one came running to his side like they did for Ana.
     
  12. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    Yes but I want to see my councilors stand by the law. They can be supportive in private, they are paid not to stand by their friends but rather condem such actions regardless of who is involved.

    In this situation it makes already poor optics look worse IMO, the reality is she will get off, trust me I see people with lesser influence do it. They get off not because they are innocent, they have saavy solicitors who can argue the technicalities. If the brethalizer says you Fail and the intoxilyzer shows you're over .08 BAC, guess what you are pretty much guilty of committing the offence even though you're not convicted.

    As much as I hate to say it the guy from MAAD is right
     
  13. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    That's not what I'm saying, as mayor many would be calling for his head they have for similar/less.

    If he has a DUI and is still elected that falls on the constiuents not councilors
     
  14. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    well there's a big difference between having a DUI in your past and having a DUI when you're in office.
     
  15. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    Agreed elected public officials must continue to be held to a higher standard
     
  16. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    no.

    we have due process in this country. no one is guilty until it is proven in court and they have a right to defend themselves.

    these are basic tenets of our legal system.
     
  17. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    actually a DUI charge once registered fail will result in your car being impounded and an automatic suspension at the scene so while you are not actually convicted at this point the charge triggers a sort of liability which imposes automatic penalties absent of a conviction.

    Street racing laws trigger the same.
     
  18. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    if she doesn't face the same mortal 1st time offender penalties as we all do, watch this blow up huge.
     
  19. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

  20. R4V4G3D_SKU11S

    R4V4G3D_SKU11S TRIBE Member

    Thanks for the tip :D
     
  21. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    i know, and IMO that's wrong, but the way the provinces have been able to justify those laws breaking our charter rights is by saying that driving is not a right, but a privilege.

    I'd love for someone to take those DUI and street racings penalties to the supreme court (i'm talking about the automatic suspension and impounding of the car- not the criminal charges that follow). IMO they should fail any critical charter challenge.
     
  22. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    But driving ISN'T a right...
     
  23. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder who is going to pay Councillor Bailao's legal bills to fight this drunk driving charge? Casino lobbyists? Or will taxpayers somehow get stuck with the legal bills?
     
  24. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    I've seen some people get off serious charges, I mean stumbling at a ride stop (clearly drunk) and not medically related. I would prefer the automatic suspension than putting that person back into their car.

    FYI no charter right is being broken as Acheron has pointed out. having a drunk behind a 3000lbs piece of machine is not a right no matter how you slice it. The public has a right to be safe and if it takes a suspension to provide that I'm all for it.

    The street racing law is questionable as it is in fact being mis-applied and I believe has already successfully been challenged in the court (although I'm not 100% on that)
     
  25. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    Give me one remotely plausible circumstance under which that could happen. Come on, man!
     

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