Councillor Rowena Santos Cleared by City’s Integrity Commissioner

August 19. 2022

Councillor Rowena Santos Cleared by City’s Integrity Commissioner

The City of Brampton’s Integrity Commissioner completed an investigation of a complaint referred by City Council on May 18, 2022 where a senior staff member alleged that Councillor Santos shouted at her during a meeting in January 2020, nearly 2.5 years prior. A majority of councillors voted to refer the allegation of “bullying” and “harassing” behaviour to the city’s Integrity Commissioner. 

In the disposition letter, the Integrity Commissioner rules that there is no evidence or incidents of harassment or bullying and therefore makes “no finding that Councillor Santos bullied or harassed the staff member.”

Councillor Santos is an advocate of respectful workplaces. She was disappointed and surprised when these allegations were made. She herself understands what it means to have her voice silenced or ignored, particularly because of her gender and ethnicity. She works everyday to build bridges, encourage open and honest communication and is passionate about her work in mentoring young women. 

“Over the past few months, these false allegations have been used to weaponize and smear my credibility,” comments Santos. “Along with those who know me, I have been incredibly perplexed with such false allegations referring to one meeting over 2 years ago. I am pleased the Integrity Commissioner has now ruled that such allegations were unfounded.” 

The discourse during this debate on council about the BramptonU project seemed focused on diminishing the successes of the project while making many unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing.

“As a woman at the table, I work tirelessly and bring big ideas forward for the City of Brampton. This has made me a target to some who attack such bold ideas and prefer me to remain silent. Quite frankly, these false accusations were over the top,” Santos says. “Passion to pursue ideas for the city does not equate to harassment. All women should be empowered to raise their voices and bring forward their ideas and opinions. This is fundamental to who I am.”

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