Ontario civil court records found online show our Mayor, Brian Saunderson, is listed as the first defendant in a recent lawsuit, along with his allegedly former employers.
The lawsuit is for $150,000 and was filed Sept. 17, 2019. The plaintiff is Grand Mortgage Investment Corporation, which the Financial Services Registry Authority office shows has a local office at 192 First Street, in Collingwood, with John Dopp listed as the mortgage administrator. M. Christopher Diamond, of DiamondPantel LLP, is listed as the company’s legal representative.
I have not yet found other details about the lawsuit, or why Saunderson is the only person in the company identified in the notice. I only know it is a civil, not criminal action. I have not yet been able to find the court records that explain the case. I have not found any indication the suit was settled. I am still looking.
I wonder, however, why our mayor has not divulged this to the public. After all, it’s been more than two years since it was filed. Could there be issues of conflict should Grand Mortgage be involved in any planning or development motions in which the mayor voted? Wasn’t there a recent judicial inquiry report warning about real and apparent conflicts? Or did I just imagine that?
I am also curious about the timing. As I recall, it was a campaign promise of Saunderson to step away from his legal practice if elected mayor. Yet this case was filed almost a year after the election. Was he still employed or doing contract work for Christie Cummings? Is he still?
Why is our mayor being sued? Why has he not made this public?
I believe the public has the right to know the details and hear his explanation. If there are ethical issues or those of professional competence raised by this lawsuit, the public should know those, too. After all, this man wants to be our next MPP. Public officials should exhibit higher standards, including openness and accountability.
Collingwood deserves better.