Mayor Newberrys’ apparent conflict of interest
CHIP 101.9 verifies the statements of Mayor Newberry
Article published on 24 October 2019
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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:

CHIP 101.9: “What are you going to do? Did you tell the committee that you owned the land in question?”
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

Lire aussi : Committee Created For Lafontaine Islands National Park Project
Pontiac Journal, August 30th, 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.

“Because I own two islands near the Îles Lafontaine, the location of the proposed park. And that I should have brought the ownership of the two islands to the MRC. I did it in my own municipality, in my declaration of pecuniary interests. It is not an obligation to declare it at the MRC, but I understand that it would have been more, that I should have specified...”. - Serge Newberry

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.

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