Sydenham District Councillor Bill Glover has announced that he won’t run in the upcoming municipal election.
The announcement came Monday in a letter written to campaign supporters. Glover blamed a “right-wing” shift in attitude among Council members as the primary reason to not run.
He also criticized Mayor Mark Gerretsen, citing him as a major reason for his decision.
“To put it simplistically, the only thing worse than being defeated in the next byelection … would be to be elected to the same council,” he said.
“When you look at the ongoing comments that some members of council have been saying subsequent to the [OMB] decision, tell me why bigotry and hatred are not appropriate terms [to describe them],” he said.
Glover has served as Sydenham District councillor since 2006, prior to which he served as an elected member for the Sydenham District Association.
Glover has recently come under fire by City Council following his actions during an OMB process in the Fall, which saw the OMB overturn a City ruling to dissolve Sydenham District as an official City district. The initial ruling passed by the City would have also excluded students from the population count.
“Look at what [Council] said about students,” he said. “It seems to be alright for them that an identifiable portion of qualified electors can be diminished and to be alright for them that an identifiable portion of qualified electors can be diminished and discredited … go to the dictionary to ‘bigot’ and tell me how this definition does not apply.”
As part of the investigation, the City hired an independent integrity commissioner to determine if Glover displayed a conflict of interest in participating in the OMB appeal against the City. Gerretsen has previously taken legal action against Glover for criticizing him publically, Glover said.
Despite this, Glover said the investigation had nothing to do with his decision to not re-run.
“The investigation is a symptom of the problem,” he said.
“Close-minded,non-analytical people who voted for the investigation are all the people who voted get rid of Sydenham District including, of course, the Mayor.”
The “right-wing” attitudinal shift is largely attributed to a self-interested corporate-driven culture, Glover added.
“Buy something today and don’t think about when you’re going to pay for it … [people] just spend, spend, spend,” Glover said.
“Overtime that creates the idea of self-entitlement and of course it won’t change, it will take time to change.”
He said lobbying for improvements to the Kingston transit system is an initiative he’s proud of during his time as councillor.
“If you don’t have a bus service then you have to provide parking for everyone as they move back and forth on street system … and you have to think of the environmental consequences,” Glover said.
He said whoever decides to run for Sydenham District in the upcoming byelection will need to have an open mind.
“Every district needs somebody with an open mind with the intellectual capacity to understand issues and analyze information and the independence of thought to follow what they genuinely believe to be the best course of actions,” Glover said.
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