Windsor-West Liberal Candidate Opens Campaign Headquarters

Ward 3 Councillor and Windsor-West Liberal Candidate Rino Bortolin addressed his political intentions and some controversy at his new campaign headquarters Saturday.

Supporters packed Bortolin's base of operations on Howard Ave. near Shepherd St. E. where he hopes to gain a place in provincial politics.

He tells AM800 News he wants to cut-out the middle man when it comes to enacting change in Windsor.

"If we're able to actually attack some of these issues on a broader scale city council can do things and we as a municipality can do things, but we're definitely handcuffed by what legislation provincially allows," he says. "Now we're making generational change that impacts the community on things that you can't really accomplish at city council. We can do a lot of hard work and we've gotten a lot of things done ... but at a provincial level you can accomplish a lot more."

It wasn't all fanfare for Bortolin. Windsor's integrity commissioner found he violated the Code of Conduct following statements made last year in regards to a downtown alley-light.

Bortolin hasn't closed the door on the issue — he's asking for a judicial review before the divisional courts citing flaws in procedural fairness and application of the law in the report.

"If every time a decision was made we accepted it and just said oh that's done, there'd be a lot of things that we would have never gotten accomplished," says Bortolin. "Realistically the issue with the Integrity Commissioner really is a side issue that exemplifies the fact that I'm really going to fight on behalf of the residents; that's who I'm here to represent."

Bortolin is now the subject of a second Code of Conduct complaint filed with the commissioner.

Edy Haddad says the ward 3 councillor allegedly violated the city's code of conduct by using bullying and harassing tactics as well as vulgar language during a confrontation at the Liberals Windsor-West Annual General Meeting in March — those allegations have yet to be proven.

"It's hearsay at best, the reality is when you get into politics, read the comment sections and you'll see there's a lot of hate out there. If we were to take every allegation seriously that was made towards an elected official we'd be going down a slippery slope," says Bortolin, who says he hasn't officially been notified of the complaint. "Let him go through the proper process and I'll respond properly at that point and we'll go from there."

Haddad is no stranger to conflict, having been regularly ejected from city council for disrupting meetings beginning in 2009. He was escorted out of a meeting at city hall by police in November of 2012 and issued a no-trespass order — Haddad accused city officials of bullying and intimidation in the aftermath of that incident.

The trespass order has since expired, according to city officials.