Wilson Farmhouse proposals and my role

Allow me to preface my statement by first saying that I support the reuse of the Wilson Farmhouse for community use as outlined in the City’s Official Plan.  I do not support a sever and sell option. I have stated this many times.

Other Councillors have publicly stated their unwavering position to demolish the farmhouse or to explore sever and sell options.

At Monday’s Council meeting, Councillor Van Hellemond gave a notice of motion (NOM) regarding an identifiable individual. He has two months in which to bring forward a motion that will be dealt with in closed session as per Council’s protocol.

The subject of the NOM is me and my role in supporting a bid by a group of community leaders, for the reuse of the Wilson Farmhouse as a neighbourhood community centre.

Our proposal calls for the establishment of a Board of Directors for a not-for-profit organization. This Board will provide guidance and governance to the organization’s administration, for the renovation and operation of the centre. Should this proposal be successful, I will sit on the initial Board. Compensation will not provided to Board members.

More information regarding this proposal will be publicly available when the City releases it’s report, due sometime in May.

To draw a parallel, I sit on the Board of Trustees of the Elliott, an unpaid position. I have advocated for it’s designation as Guelph’s Home for the Aged, since 2006 when I was first appointed.  There is a financial relationship between the City and the Elliott for which I oversee and am accountable to the City.

Many other long term care facilities were considered for this designation.

Through out the years, I have continually advocated and represented the interests of the Elliott as being Guelph’s best choice for our Home for the Aged. We reached a milestone on Monday with Council’s unanimous approval of the Elliott with this designation.

I will continue to support and advocate for the Elliott in my role as a member of the Board of Trustees.    ian



Filed under Wilson Farm Park

14 responses to “Wilson Farmhouse proposals and my role

  1. Your consisent advocacy for community use and conservation of the Wilson Farmhouse is part of your Council role. Councillors cannot, and should not, separate their position from their values. if you were on the Board of the United Way, the GW Senior’s Association or Non-Profit Housing, you would not be questioned. Stay true to your values, it’s going to be a long six months….LP

  2. BB

    The first casualty in any war is truth.
    The first casualty in an election seems to be rational thought.
    Non Profit means… wait for it… ok… ready…
    Non Profit!
    • Councillor Findlay will never make a penny for sitting on the Board of Wilson Farmhouse.
    • Community Centres are hardly known as profit centres, but if any surpluses are generated, they will pay down the construction loan or increase capacity to provide neighbourhood resources.
    • I get Mr. Hellemond’s inclination to whistle-blowing, but he should read the “Non Profit Rule Book” first.

  3. Ron


    With the the level of support you are giving the group trying to save the Wilson farmhouse and with your stated intention to serve on a Board of Directors for this group I trust you will declare a conflict of interest and not vote on any matters pertaining to this issue as it arises at council.

    • BB

      Hi Ron – the term “conflict of interest” is used to describe a situation where someone on a Board or Council stands to make income from a decision made by that Board. As such, “conflict of interest” does not apply in this situation, as Ian does not stand to gain any money through his sitting on numerous Boards around town. For example, Councillor Gloria Kovach advocated for many years for the West End Rec Centre to be built in her neighbourhood. There was no conflict of interest when she voted in Council for it, because she’s not making the income from the Centre.

  4. ianward2

    Thanks for your perspective Ron.

    In your opinion, should I have then not voted for the report recommending support for the Elliott, as Guelph’s Home for the Aged?

  5. Dennis Galon

    Thank you for your transparency in posting this message. One might gather from context that Councillor Van Hellemond is concerned with a potential conflict of interest on your part. As I understand the law, a legal conflict of interest would require you to have monetary gain from your vote or argument on Council, and if am right about the law, there is no conflict in this situation.

    But I am more concerned about not knowing what van Hellmond is concerned about. So I am asking, his the text of his Notice of Motion public, and is there any additional public information you can share with us about his stated concerns?

    In any case, I have complete trust in your integrity, and wish you well in the in camera session that will discuss this.

  6. Ron

    It is one thing to advocate for a facilty to be built or for services to be provided in a neighbourhood or ward. It is quite another to push an agenda using the influence as a councillor and admitting an intention to serve on the Board for the group you are not only supporting but seem to be one of the leaders.

    No member of Council shall use the influence of her or his
    office for any purpose other than for the exercise of her or
    his official duties.
    Examples of prohibited conduct are the use of one’s status as
    a member of Council to improperly influence the decision of
    another person to the private advantage of oneself, or one’s
    immediate relatives, staff members, friends, or associates,
    business or o
    therwise. This would include attempts to secure
    preferential treatment beyond activities in which members
    normally engage on behalf of their constituents as part of
    their official duties.

    • Craig

      Thanks for the clarification Ron,,,,,you just made the councilor’s point.

    • BB

      Hi Ron – I’m sure you won’t take it from me, as I’ve just served on 15 different Boards, and written the bylaws for 5 start-up Non Profits, so please go ask your lawyer to explain what “conflict of interest” and “private advantage” are, and aren’t.

      While you’re at it, ask them to advise you on what “slander” is.

      In this election year, if anyone is “trying to improperly influence the decision of another person(s) to the private advantage of oneself” here, it isn’t Ian Findlay.

  7. Ron

    How is asking a question or seeking clarification on a councillors action slander?

    Get a grip….if a councillor and his supportors can’t take questions on what he is doing maybe he should rethink his role…..

    • JM

      That’s somewhat disingenuous of you, Ron.

      You’re creating smoke by insisting that there’s a conflict of interest taking place and then dismiss citizens that come to Ian’s defence.

      I think that the councillor’s actions would stand up to examination, what’s your agenda?

      • Ron


        You make me chuckle.. I have no agenda. Simply asking questions and seeking to hold our councillor accountable for his actions. Not “insisting” anything.

        The only smokescreen is from his supporters saying he would NEVER do anything improper or unethical. Maybe thats true…

        To my eyes, Mr. Findlay being part of the group bringing this proposal forward creates a perception that the proposal may be more credible than if his name wasn’t associated with it. He has taken ownership of this proposal so maybe when it comes before council he should remove himself from the horsehoe and join those on the public side of the chamber bringing it forward.

        Just my opinion… nothing more, nothing less.

        • JM


          I’ve reread every comment on this thread, not once does anybody say that the councillor would “NEVER” do anything improper or unethical.

          That aside, early in the thread you state, “I trust you will declare a conflict of interest and not vote on any matters pertaining to this issue as it arises at council.”

          That’s not a question.

          When challenged, you double down with a quote from the Council Code of Conduct.

          Once again, no question, just an implied accusation of impropriety.

          As you continue to press this point, I’m interpreting that as you “insisting”.

          The councillor has taken ownership of this idea and he wants to see it through.

          Sad, that in this day and age, that’s a reason to attack his integrity.

  8. Ron

    I guess we have a difference of opinion then councillor Findlays actions.

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