REPORTING · 23rd March 2013
Councillor Mary Murphy wants to appoint a Conflict of Interest Commissioner in Kitimat, suggesting selecting them from the ranks of City Hall Administration. She made a motion on Monday, March 18th asking Administration to bring back a report on appointing a Conflict of Interest Commissioner.
“More and more, we’re running into more detailed conflict of interest issues as new legislation comes forward and it’s always concerned the Council and Mayor. I know that we have resources in place and use those resources to get advice before we get into any Conflict of Interest,” said Murphy.
Traditionally, City Councillors who find themselves in conflict leave the room when discussing matters. Councillor Mario Feldhoff traditionally leave the room when Rio Tinto Alcan and the Mount Elizabeth Theatre are brought forward. Former Councillor Bob Corless was in conflict over the Royal Canadian Legion.
However, in the early months of 2013, several Kitimat Councillors have asked if they are in conflict of interest on several issues. Many City Councillors are active members of the community and are in influential positions in clubs and organizations. Others have been assigned to those groups by the Mayor.
One notable question came from Councillor Rob Goffinet whose daughter was on the Kitimat 60th Anniversary committee.
Murphy herself has been questioned on motions she has made or voted on relating to spending taxpayer money at locations where she is employed, Northwest Community College and Kitimat Valley Institute.
Around three weeks ago, we asked at a Council Meeting if a claim she made on our website, that she voted on several motions in a manner that would get relatives of hers jobs in Alberta, was similar a conflict of interest.
“Councillor Murphy has stated a family member commenced working for Suncor and moved to Fort McMurry in October 2012. The motion regarding an Enbridge survey was considered in January 2012, prior to the family member becoming a Suncor employee. It does not appear that a conflict of interest existed at that time,” wrote Warren Waycheshen in a memo which was received at the same meeting.
We at the Kitimat Daily Believe that even if she was joking, the joke about violating the public’s faith in her by selling the manner in which she to votes benefit her family was not very funny.
“More and more communities are establishing this type of system and then the public knows there is actually an avenue that’s being followed,” said Murphy.
She said there were two people in the staff that could be appointed to that. “I think it’s important for this Mayor and Council for some Councillors more than others,” said Murphy.
Councillor Corinne Scott agreed. “There have been a number of court cases which have gone right to the Supreme Court of Canada in regards to elected officials and conflict of interest, whether they are board members or directors of other organizations or whether they have been appointed by Council to sit on a board and then are they in conflict when that may come forward at a Council Meeting,” said Scott.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff was under the impression the parliamentarian was fulfilling the role, however, he wanted to see a report back to Council. The motion was called and carried.
Comment by marymurphy on 7th April 2013
thanks larry...cant contact you no contact info...and i do have part time employemnt. Securing employment has never been a problem to me. council is more like a full time employement. I am retired, proud to be a workhorse for the community. If i am not voted in next election that would be the wishes of the public. Until then i will contunue to do my best.
Time for a change???
Comment by Larry on 3rd April 2013
Perhaps you shud be looking for other part time employment. You political career may be just about over.
Mary buys a job...
Comment by Walter McFarlane on 2nd April 2013
You left a comment on our website stating the reason you voted against the Enbridge survey is so Suncore would hire a relative of yours. This is why we asked the question of you at Council.
This fits with a question which you answered to a member of the public last year stating your priorities had changed, which I was present for.
All I did was ask a question Mary. It turns out using your vote to buy your son in law a job, as you have claimed, is not conflict of interest.
your quote is: " Imagine...Bill...really SunCore...good grief, that is why i made the votes back in early 2012. Because my family moved to work for suncor in October."
How do you explain it?
reporting on conflict
Comment by marymurphy on 29th March 2013
What "you" asked and implied as you did previously with the securing a place for council to allow persons with disablities to attend (KVI)....was I in conflict for entering into discussions regarding Enbridge when my son in law who worked for Alcan for 20+ years (apparently not a comment on conflict regarding Alcan) went to work for Suncor..and later made suggestions in your comments that my vote was a direct influence on him getting a job with Suncor..no other family members, but you like to make reference as though there is more family members. I find it distasetful that you attack a family member, who is university educated, very well versed, holds desirable positions, and therefore very capable of pursuing other employment, and securing that position without any help. what I find humorous is how you pick and choose what you report regarding conflict. apparently the Mayor for instance cannot take pictures enter any discussions regarding Enbridge, but others may.
In discussions with the" lawyers"...and council, there was and will be no conflict with my involvement regarding Enbridge.