Mayor’s response to Guelph Mercury column

April 8, 2011


E-mail from Mayor Farbridge to Phil Andrews, editor of the Guelph Mercury:

Dear Phil

I am seeking an immediate retraction to this column.

“Mayor Karen Farbridge has said she does not believe Laidlaw’s comment violated council’s code of conduct, though she was also clear any other member of council could request an investigation.”

This excerpt from the article is factually incorrect as it is being referenced to inappropriate language used within Council Chambers.

I have been consistent in my personal position that Councillor Laidlaw’s comments with respect to her use of on-line maps is not a violation of the Code of Conduct.

I have been equally consistent that the on camera comment is clear violation of our Code of Conduct, our Procedural By-law and Corporate Values.

Your reporter knows this as he has in his possession correspondence to Council from me on this matter and he interviewed me on this correspondence.  At the time of sending this correspondence, I had not been advised of which member of Council had made the alleged comment.  Again, your reporter is aware of this as we discussed this in the interview.  When I was advised that the comments were attributed to Councillor Laidlaw, I attempted to get in contact with her (via phone and e-mail) to discuss my concerns with her but she was out of the country.  Upon her return, she responded to all of Council accepting responsibility for the comments and apologizing. 

An apology to Council is precisely what would have been sought had her comments been audible to me as Chair during the meeting.

Karen Farbridge


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