Entrepreneur and ex-philanthropist Chris Ecklund has told Hamilton Mountain News that his public activities promoting Hamilton as a 'City of Waterfalls' are "on hold" while he waits to see whether there are "any more articles" in the local media. He is also "watching what [the city's trnasparency and accountability committee] is going to do."
He decided to cancel his philanthropic activities after Joanna Chapman told the committee that two councillors meeting Ecklund in his private box at Ivor Wynne Stadium may constitute a gift from a lobbyist that violates the city's code of conduct. One purpose of the committee is to clarify what is and is not acceptable behaviour for a councillor.
Chapman suggested that Ecklund's activities constituted lobbying, arguing that his attachment to the causes he promotes boost his own business interests and implying that Ecklund may be planning to enter politics. She objected to the perception that someone "with money is getting private access to politicians."
Ecklund and his supporters argue by contrast that his activities are charitable and philanthropic. He says he found the public scrutiny over his meeting with Councillors Terry Whitehead and Scott Duvall "hurtful" and "upsetting". As a result, he has put all of his charitable activities on hold indefinitely.
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