I hope Andy Bruziewicz loses the upcoming provincial election.
Not because I think he would be an especially bad MPP. And not because he’s running for the Trillium Party. Frankly, I’d never heard of them until I read that Bruziewicz was going to be their standard bearer in Sarnia-Lambton.
These fringe parties never go anywhere. The best they can manage, in most cases, is to be spoilers. Every once in a while they get enough votes to hurt one of the three main parties. That’s about the only influence they have.
But as I said, I don’t want Bruziewicz to lose on June 8 because he’s running for a party I know virtually nothing about.
The truth is – and I never thought I’d find myself writing this – we can’t spare this man on Sarnia council. In recent years he has been one of the few voices of reason at city hall.
He was, in fact, one of only four councillors who opposed the city’s draconian new ‘code of conduct.’ This was the infamous regulation passed last year that muzzles local politicians. Specifically, it prohibits them from saying anything critical about other councillors, either in council chambers or outside city hall.
Those found guilty of violating the code (and guilt is determined by a highly paid, unelected bureaucrat) can face substantial fines.
Not only that, the code essentially instructs councillors to publicly support any council action, whether they agree with it or not.
This law is a direct attack on democracy that, if left in place, will do great harm to the city over the long term. We need to elect several new people who will undo this disastrous regulation. And we need to return to office those who opposed it in the first place.
That makes the return of people like Bruziewicz all the more important. We simply must get this law off the books and Andy can help us do that.
He also demonstrated good judgment in a recent vote regarding secret meetings. Bruziewicz voted for a plan to record such sessions. The motion only carried 5-4. So had he not been there, this move (which will help keep council members honest when they are behind closed doors) would not have passed.
We need this guy to make sure that, over the next four years, politicians are making the decisions, not city hall employees.
Bruziewicz is no toady of Mayor Mike Bradley. He has, in fact, spoken out forcefully against bullying in the workplace. He won’t allow employees to be harassed but he won’t let them run the city either.
That’s why we need him at city hall, not Queen’s Park.