The City of Charlottetown has asked its legal counsel to investigate whether Coun. Bob Doiron breached city council’s code of conduct.
It’s over the fact that Doiron wrote a letter to the editor that ran in Wednesday’s edition of The Guardian in which the councillor was critical of council passing a procedural bylaw that removes the mayor’s power of unilaterally naming standing committees and chairs.
Doiron felt it was rushed too quickly, a sentiment shared by incoming mayor Philip Brown.
Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy, who chaired the two meetings where the procedural bylaw was given first and second reading and subsequently granted approval, said he has asked Peter Kelly, the city’s chief administrative officer, to talk to legal counsel about whether Doiron’s letter violates the code of conduct.
“Wow, just wow,’’ Doiron told The Guardian when asked for his reaction to the investigation.
Doiron also questioned Duffy’s move to seek legal counsel, explaining that outgoing Mayor Clifford Lee had told council in the past that legal opinions could only come from all of council’s recommendation – not just one person – because if every councillor was running off asking for an opinion it would become very expensive.
“I don’t know how (Duffy) got the authority to do that, but what I said was the truth. These people, my fellow councillors, don’t want to be taken to task on anything. I didn’t say (the procedural bylaw) was illegal. It’s just that it was sneaky. I guess they’re entitled to get a legal opinion, and so be it. I stand by what I said. I was taken aback by all this.’’
Doiron said the incoming council should have been left to deal with the bylaw and doesn’t understand why the outgoing group pushed it through in three days, especially when the province gave municipalities a six-month extension on Tuesday to push it through.
“There is no need of it. We could have waited. The new council is just two new members, come on. Would it have made a difference (if we had dealt with it) this Friday or next Friday? I don’t think so.’’