Once again, York Region Taxpayers Coalition and its volunteers are having a positive effect on accountability in York Region.
Controversial York Regional Councillor John Taylor from the town of Newmarket has once again been caught red-handed and has been forced to change his ways.
It was a complaint in November 2014 that revealed Taylor was using the municipal offices of the Town of Newmarket to run a private organization that was unaffiliated with the local government. Only after documents from Revenue Canada and the organization itself that proved the allegations beyond a shadow of a doubt did he decide to relocate his private enterprise out of the publicly owned buildings.
In June 2015, Mr. Taylor was compelled to refund $750 to BionX after one of our volunteers revealed that this donation may have breached the Municipal Elections Act.
In November 2015, after the controversial Taylor refused repeatedly to disclose his personal interests in an advertising contract between the local government and Mr. Taylor’s wife’s company, our volunteers continued pushing the issue. Eventually, he gave in and declared his conflict of interest.
In March 2016, after learning about an approximately $1,900 payment made to York Regional Councillor John Taylor by the Town of Newmarket to purchase his campaign website, our volunteers made a number of complaints to the town’s CAO, Treasurer and Director of Corporate Communications – and all refused to address our complaints.
The payment was made to reimburse Mr. Taylor for a website, www.johntaylornewmarket.ca, that he described as:
Only after our members would not accept these refusals and persisted in their efforts to ensure public funds were not being spent on Mr. Taylor’s political ambitions, did Mr. Taylor change his tune:
This is now the fourth time in just over a year that the York Region Taxpayers Coalition has caught Newmarket’s controversial Regional Councillor breaking the rules. It’s the fourth time that we managed to bring him back in line.
With people like Regional Councillor John Taylor repeatedly breaking the rules, now more than ever, we need accountability at York Region. Last year we won our battle to have a York Region Ombudsman appointed.
But there’s still more to do.
The York Region Taxpayers Coalition is continuing to push for a Lobbyist Registry, Council Code of Conduct, Integrity Commissioner, and Auditor General.