At the regular council meeting of the municipality of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet, on Tuesday, October 22nd, Mayor Serge Newberry was invited to explain himself on what the regional council of mayors of the MRC Pontiac have described as a “perceived conflict of interest.”
- Serge Newberry
« C’est la radio qui a déclaré, qui a fait un conflit d’intérêts (It’s the radio that said, that made a conflict of interest) »
According to Newberry, it is the Pontiac Community Radio, CHIP 101.9, that made the conflict of interest, after disclosing that two islands near the proposed National park project around the Iles Lafontaine belong to Serge Newberry. The Warden and the council of mayors of the MRC Pontiac were also unaware of the Mayors’ assets, as mentioned in the MRC’s resolutions from the extraordinary general meeting on October 2nd.
During the same intervention at Tuesday’s municipal council meeting, Mayor Newberry added that he would have liked to “get a call”, so that he could get a chance to “declare his assets”. However, Newberry sat on the committee for the creation of a national park in the Iles Lafontaine for several months now, and also met with local politicians on the matter, including the Pontiac MNA and Pontiac MP. The provincial and federal representatives were also unaware of the Mayor’s properties.
- Serge Newberry
« At the Mayors’ Council, I said that I would have appreciated to get a call, because as soon as I got a call, I would have explained myself. There would have been no apparent conflict of interest, there would not have been what happened, but they chose to use it as a smear tool. And... I’m sorry if that... uh, if it is, like it is...»
The Mayor’s responses did not seem to satisfied the citizens who attended the municipal meeting in l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet. Shame, dissatisfaction and frustration, were what the residents of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet were expressing during and after the meeting.
Exerpt from the conversation between CHIP 101,9 and citizens :
CHIP 101,9 : “Are you satisfied with the...”
Citizen 1 : “No!”
Citizen 2 : “He never answered the question.”
Citizen 1 : “He released a story that had no end. For [the council of mayors of the MRC Pontiac], you are in a conflict of interest. It’s not hard to know. You think you’re not, but I see you like that. And you made us ashamed.”
Citizen 3 : “Completely disappointed. No trust”.
Mayor Serge Newberry continues to argue that he doesn’t consider this situation to be a ’’conflict of interest".
Extract from the municipal council of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet :
Citizen : “You should have said it”
Mayor Newberry : “I do not see a conflict of interest”.
Citoyenne : “No, you do not see it”.
Mayor Newberry still seems to want to ensure the development and promotion of establishing a national park in the Iles Lafontaine, even though he still owns the two islands in question, located very close to the outlined project.
Other articles and interviews in this file :
October 3rd, 2019 : Serge Newberry - Report on Conflict of Interests (French)
October 9th, 2019 : “We have a new vision based on the Pontiac” - Jane Toller
October 18th, 2019 : Mayor Serge Newberry says he is “very comfortable”