The mayor got angry, called a recess and, behind closed doors, used profanity as he vented his anger at a councillor who tried to boot him from a boundary negotiating committee. He emerged red-faced, wrath continuing to spill out in unspoken words and body language.
Where did this happen?
It happened in Innisfil last week.
Perhaps it shows the two communities are more alike than either would care to admit.
Innisifil has always prided itself on being a smaller town, more community-minded.
But last Wednesday’s outburst in Innisfil is eerily familiar in Barrie. In April 2007, councillors called in the OPP to investigate Barrie Mayor Dave Aspden’s judgment during boundary discussions after news leaked that he travelled to China with a developer who has major interests in Innisfil. He was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
The story continues …
Police were called in; they are investigating. No one can issue a statement, now that the investigation is underway.
Again, this sounds eerily familiar to another Aspden 2007 incident, when the Barrie mayor refused to answer councillors’ questions related to his intervening in a police administrative matter – thereby breaking the Police Services Act’s code of conduct.
Barrie Police couldn’t investigate. City council joined in the call for the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCPS) to investigate.
Once OCCPS began its investigation, protocol required the mayor be suspended from his police board duties.
Now, in Innisfil, with Jackson serving on the board of the South Simcoe Police, it appears he broke the code of conduct – which holds him to a higher standard of behaviour. Police have yet to determine whether Jackson could be facing charges of assault.
Alas! This gets even more surreal. Just a few weeks ago, a member of the Barrie Police Services Board was charged with assault and OCCPS was called; Don MacNeil is still technically on the board.
In the Wild West of politics and development, in the neighbouring communities of Barrie and Innisfil, politicians struggle not only to get along with their neighbours, but their own councils.
How will it end? Perhaps a higher authority – the province – should step in and restore order. Or perhaps next year, voters will realize they got the government they deserved in 2006 – and they should resolve to get involved in the November 2010 elections. That’s when the curtain will finally fall on this act.