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Town Council Requests an Expanded Apology from Mayor

By Randy Thoms Aug 19, 2022 | 9:34 AM

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Fort Frances town council is requesting Mayor June Caul expand on her earlier apology for releasing a confidential legal opinion on wood rights.

They would like her to write letters of apology to staff and other contract personnel impacted by the release and ensuing debate.

Councillor John McTaggart made the suggestion after council was briefed on the latest report from the town’s Integrity Commissioner on the incident.

“I would like to see, possibly, a letter of apology going to staff members in particular, as well as our economic development contractor and our representative on the Boundary Waters Forest Management,” says McTaggart.

Caul had issued an apology, both to council and the public, in January after a previous report from Paul Heayn found she had violated several provincial and municipal regulations all members of council must follow.

The latest report, the fifth to come out against the mayor in the past year, was the result of an anonymous complaint filed a month after Caul’s apology.

The complainant levels similar allegations brought forward in a previous report on the document leak.

Heayn felt most of the complaints were substantiated.

On an allegation of breach of trust, Heayn felt that the mayor did not release the document to harm the municipality but rather to clear up misconceptions around the wood rights issue.

Heayn provided no recommendation of additional sanctions or reprimand against Caul, leaving it up to council “to give a sober second thought to the Mayor’s action and provide either further punishment or file this report as received.”

Councillor Mike Behan preferred council on from the matter.

“Because Council already has dealt with this matter, and because I do not believe the mayor acted maliciously or for her own personal gain, and because mayor Caul has announced her intention not to seek reelection, I support receiving Integrity Commission’s report with no further action or that any additional sanction is warranted,” said Behan.

Council’s request for the written apology letters to staff passed by a 4 to 2.

By a count of 4-2, council approved a request the Mayor write an apology to certain staff impacted by the release.
The Mayor was not in the room at the time of council’s vote or the presentation of Heayn’s report.


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