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Fort Macleod town council extends Mayor Rene Gendre’s sanctions for six months

rene gendre

Town council extended for another six months the sanctions imposed on Rene Gendre over the mayor’s objections.
The decision was made following a closed session discussion at the July 13 meeting.
Before the discussion moved into closed session, Gendre urged council to postpone its decision until after Aug. 5.
That’s when Justice K.D. Nixon is to give her decision in a judicial review of the sanctions in Court of Queen’s Bench in Lethbridge.
Gendre filed an affidavit for a judicial review, contending the sanctions were imposed without due process and in bad faith.
Lawyers for both Gendre and the Town of Fort Macleod made their case before Judge Nixon, who plans to offer a verbal decision on Aug. 5.
“I wouldn’t want to second guess Madam Justice Nixon,” Gendre said.
Deputy Mayor Brent Feyter said council is simply following the guidelines it laid out last year when Gendre was first sanctioned.
“I do believe it is council’s mandate to have it reviewed after six months,” Feyter said.
Council became concerned with Gendre’s conduct and in June 2014 stripped him of all his duties as mayor.
The sanctions removed Gendre as chair of regular council meetings and as a member of all committees and boards.
Gendre also lost the mayor’s honorarium, instead being paid at the rate awarded to councillors.
At that time Gendre could only attend meetings and vote on motions.
Council reviewed those sanctions after six months and decided to reinstate Gendre’s ability to call special meetings and sign by-laws.
The decision followed Gendre filing an affidavit in December for a judicial review in Court of Queen’s Bench.
At last week’s council meeting Gendre also argued against the discussion about his sanctions being moved into a closed session, without the public present.
Council had received a legal opinion that those discussions should be held in closed session.
“I think if that’s what our lawyers advised us, we should do that,” Coun. Gord Wolstenholme said.
Gendre’s motion to move the discussion out of closed session was defeated by a 6-1 vote.