Back in November, Hamilton City Council voted down the Vacant Unit Tax implementing bylaw on a 6-6 tie vote.

It was the first time an implementing bylaw had ever been defeated in Hamilton.

The six opposing councillors took advantage of the three councillors’ absence in what had previously been a housekeeping vote.

One of our councillors was in the hospital assisting her mother. The six took their short-term victory. Eventually, a new confirming by-law was approved for the 2025 tax year.

Saskatoon Council handled a similar situation very differently last week.

A motion to spend $22-million to build a city-owned and operated organics processing facility was defeated on a tied vote when a councillor took a washroom break.

Moments later, the councillor returned. One of the opposing councillors, recognizing what happened, honourably moved a reconsideration motion; the councillors opposed allowed reconsideration, and the original motion passed 6-5.

Here are some select passages from the CTV story:

as the item was being introduced, Coun. David Kirton briefly stepped away from chambers and almost flushed this project down the toilet.

You can hear another councillor say “he’s in the washroom” on the city’s video of the meeting.

I wish to highlight a quote from the councillor who was in the washroom, speaking about the opposing councillor who moved for reconsideration.

“[W]hen we are in there, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, it’s not about fighting each other. it’s about moving the city forward.”

“It’s about moving the city forward” are words of wisdom we do not often hear in politics.

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