The CHIP 101.9 newsroom verified the statements made by the mayor of l’Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, Serge Newberry, during the municipal council meeting on Tuesday, October 22nd.
Until recently, Newberry was siiting on the committee for the creation of a national park in the Iles Lafontaine area, in l’Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, while owning two islands located near the proposed site.
When invited to explain the situation, which the Mayors of the MRC Pontiac have described as a “perceived conflict of interest”, the mayor of l’Ile-du-Grand-Calumet argued that the Warden of the MRC Pontiac, Jane Toller, after learning of his properties, was eager to contact the Pontiac Community Radio Station.
“Jane immediately called on the radio, and she said that nobody knew anything,”said Mr. Newberry. “But at the council of mayors (extraordinary meeting of October 2nd, 2019), I said that I would have appreciated having a call. I wish I had the chance to explain myself. If I had a call, I would have explained myself. Because as soon as I got a call, there would not have been any apparent conflict of interest. There would not have been all that happened.”
Contrary to what Mayor Newberry stated, it was the newsroom of CHIP 101.9 who contacted Warden Jane Toller, following a discussion with Serge Newberry on September 23rd, during which he said that those in authority and the îles Lafontaine Committee were aware of its properties.
Clip from the conversation between CHIP 101.9 and Serge Newberry:
Serge Newberry: “Yes, yes ... he knows ... everyone knows it.”
After this verification, CHIP 101.9 contacted the Warden, where she learned of Mayor Newberrys’ assets. The newsroom also contacted seven mayors of the MRC, all of whom said they were “unaware” that mayor Newberry owned the properties in question, all the while sitting on the committee responsible for studying the creation of a national park in the Îles Lafontaine for the last year.
Read : Projet de parc national aux îles Lafontaine : un comité est créé
Journal du Pontiac, 30 août 2018
After CHIP 101.9s’ disclosure, Jane Toller issued a notice of an extraordinary general meeting for October 2nd, to “ensure that the MRC Pontiac’s transparency, the integrity of the mayors’ council and the confidence of citizens, as well as a way for the project potential to be preserved.”
At this meeting, mayor Newberry confessed that he "probably should have’’ declared his assets.
The Council of Mayors had described mayor Serge Newberrys’ situation as a “perceived conflict of interest”, and a resolution was passed to send the information to the Commission municipale du Québec.