Petawawa Kia

Calumet divided: anonymous letter leads to heated council meeting

Richard LaSalle, former councillor on Calumet Island for 11 years, expressed his frustration with Mayor Serge Newberry at a council meeting on Monday. He requested Newberry resign from his post.

Over 50 people gathered at the municipal hall in Calumet Island on March 5 after an anonymous letter criticizing the mayor and former director general was distributed to local residents. The meeting was over two and a half hours long and featured over an hour of questions from the public.

CALEB NICKERSON
CALUMET ISLAND March 5, 2018
Over 50 people gathered in the municipal hall in Calumet Island on March 5 for a heated council meeting where the newly-elected mayor was grilled by local residents and even asked to resign.
Political strife is nothing new for the island of 650 people, which has had four different mayors over the past four years. Two, Irene Nadeau and Pierre Fréchette, cited infighting and impropriety at the municipal office as the reason for their departure.
When Fréchette left in June 2017, he cryptically stated : “Out of respect for my commitment to serve the people ethically, with transparency and accountability in order to maintain their confidence in the municipal apparatus, I resigned in response to an insistent demand to turn a blind eye on a situation going against stipulated contractual obligations.”
Nadeau stepped down in 2016, claiming she had conflicts with administrative staff after she questioned the municipality’s policy regarding unpaid taxes.

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