Nina Bifolchi

Newsroom – Opting to sit out of an in-camera meeting

On Tuesday August 30, 2016 prior to council approving a motion to go in camera to discuss the Statement of Claim that the Town and Mayor received from Phoenix Hospitality, I referenced an email I sent to the Mayor and CAO on August 16, 2016. I copied the Clerk, all of council, solicitors for both sides as well as the media. The email read as follows:

“Mayor Brian Smith and Mr. George Vadeboncoeur,

As you are aware the town has received correspondence from Phoenix Hospitality’s legal team on June 30, 2016. Since that time there has been additional correspondence. As well, more recently there has been media interaction and releases from the both of you.

Regard this email as official notice that I will not be participating in any in-camera meetings that deal with this situation. I therefore request that no in-camera or confidential documents pertaining to this situation be circulated to me.

I am extremely concerned and as a result, not supportive of how this situation is being handled by the town. I will only participate in open meetings of council in regards to this matter.

Deputy Mayor Bifolchi”

As this is now a legal matter between the Town, Mayor and Phoenix Hospitality I will not comment on any events dealing with this matter. I will however clarify a few points that are being bantered about on social media by some unknowledgeable people who are attempting to spin this in to something it’s not.

After making my statement on August 30th the Mayor asked me publicly if I was in a conflict. Experienced members of council know that you are not to ask that. It is up to each individual member of council to decide for themselves when they have a conflict.

For the record, I have no conflict of interest in this situation.

My email clearly stated to them that I do not support how this has been handled and I won’t be part of it. In my opinion, others made a mess, others supported it, and I didn’t do either.

There are a number of factors that assisted me in making the decision to not attend these in camera meetings but I will just share one publicly at this time. From within my own council several frivolous complaints have been submitted against me to the Integrity Commissioner.

These complaints have ALL been dismissed but in my opinion and belief, shows that when I have a different opinion and don’t agree with decisions of the majority of council, I am then left to deal with false accusations. Again I ask, why are they so threatened by one vote?!!
To sit in camera on this particular issue and put the potential target on my back for something such as another false accusation of breach of confidentiality (a previous untrue accusation that was dismissed) is not a target I’m willing to wear on this issue.

As always, if you read things on social media or hear rumours on the street, question where it’s coming from and feel free to call me.