Conflict of interest is everywhere, let’s deal with it

 In Letters, Opinion


In respect to the article in the Sept. 8 edition of The Creemore Echo quoting the deputy mayor stating that council is “getting slammed,” I would like to offer a different perspective.

Conflict of interest is an inherent part of life. How we deal with it says a lot about us individually and collectively. I am not referring to a lawyer’s definition, but more of a moral and ethical one.

As a seasoned physician, I remember the days when drug companies offered physicians gifts such as all expenses paid trips to conferences. We eventually realized this was a bad idea and soon enough research showed that any gift, even a trinket, could change a physician’s prescribing behaviour, and not necessarily in the patient’s favour.

There are indeed potential conflicts of interest at every turn. I urge our decision makers to adopt a broader definition than the one offered by the Integrity Commissioner. It could be that the proponent is a client, a friend, a family member even if remotely so, or a former employer as examples.

I don’t believe residents of Clearview are trying to “slam” members of council. They are simply bringing to their attention a more modern and less biased approach to decision making that is based on solid evidence. There is nothing wrong about one abstaining from a particular debate if they find themselves in such a conflict. It’s actually the right thing to do.

Gaetan Tardif,


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