Councillors with the City of Dryden have once again been investigated for their actions, following a complaint by a member of the public. The original complaint was sent to the Ontario Ombudsman, which was then directed back to city staff. 

The complaint alleged that a meeting was held in August at the Holiday Inn in Dryden, where five councillors met in violation of municipal laws. Municipal laws state that no more than three councillors can be present to discuss municipal matters, without minutes being taken by a city employee.

The councillors named in the complaint include Nick Beyak, John Carlucci, Martin MacKinnon, Norm Bush and Mayor Greg Wilson. The closed meeting investigator for the City of Dryden, Paul Heayn, investigated the complaint by interviewing each councillor allegedly involved, the complainant, and other members of the public involved in the meeting.

The report states that the five councillors involved in the meeting were brought together to learn more about running their municipal re-election campaigns, and the other members of the public were there to learn more about their own election campaigns, and one was a campaign consultant from Fort Frances.

Everyone who was interviewed by the investigator stated that no official municipal matters were discussed at the meeting, and was simply a private meeting were colleagues learned more about running municipal campaigns.

The report and the investigator cleared councillors of all complaints. The full report can be found below.

“I recognize that there is a deep resentment by a particular group in our community of five of us currently sitting on council. Councillors Bush, Carlucci, Beyak, MacKinnon, and myself, ” said Mayor Greg Wilson, following the report presentation at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting.

“I’m personally thankful of the timing where the citizens of Dryden can vote on who they want on council later this month. Whichever way the election goes, we as a community can put these emotions behind us. The city can get back to business and look after the interests of our citizens. Regardless of who the council make-up is, it’s really important that we keep looking forward, not backwards.”

This is the second complaint against Dryden city council in as many months. The previous complaint surrounded the Dryden Fire Service’s work stoppage and shift to a new firefighting model earlier this year.

The complaint alleged that Mayor Wilson, along with councillor Nick Beyak, Norm Bush, Martin MacKinnon and John Carlucci were failing to act in a transparent or democratic manner, during the dispute. Councillors were cleared of any ill-intent.

For more information:
Councillors cleared of complaints
The City of Dryden - Closed meeting complaint report