News — 19 April 2012

By Chris Marchand

A motion proposing a ‘code of conduct’ to more strictly govern the actions of members of Dryden City council was defeated, Monday night.

The motion was proposed by councillor Mary Trist who says it comes in response to privileged information leaking out of closed sessions into the wrong hands. It suggested that the municipality obtain the services of an ‘integrity commissioner’ to assist with and help implement a code of conduct.

Following a brief discussion, the motion was defeated in a 3-3 tie — with councillors Trist, Mel Fisher and Brian Collins in support of the motion. Councillors Ken Moss, Martin MacKinnon and Mayor Craig Nuttall opposed the motion. Both MacKinnon and Moss gave explanations for why they did not believe such measures were necessary.

“I am fundamentally opposed to a code of conduct,” said councillor Martin MacKinnon during the discussion period. “We already can’t get any business done in this building because of the bureaucracy and you want to add more? What’s an integrity commissioner? How much will that cost?”

After the vote, Trist spoke on her frustrations around closed session details leaking into the public.

“I’m thoroughly disappointed at the fact that members of this council would not agree to govern themselves,” said Trist. “Information was leaked from a closed meeting to people who were not privy to that information. The problem is when someone leaks information, they’re only going to leak the information that works to their advantage. In doing so, the rest of council — who are governed by ethics — will not respond to that because they shouldn’t.”

 

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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