After reading the coverage of the hearing into allegations of pecuniary interest against Mayor Nolan Crouse (Gazette, July 29), I was surprised at the article’s direction, as pecuniary interest legislation is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Pecuniary interest is one of the most serious ethical breaches an elected official can be accused of. It is considered so serious that it is one of only a few ways an elected municipal official can be removed from office.
The pecuniary interest section of the MGA (Municipal Government Act) requires that you cannot vote on matters in which you could be affected monetarily. This is to ensure that the public’s interests are being represented rather than the personal interests of those on council.
Focusing the article on my attendance as deputy mayor or that my father provided transcripts of public council meetings are unimportant distractions and downplays the seriousness of the situation or its potential implications. The judge’s written judgment, which is still pending, will respond to the three allegations of pecuniary interest.
I attended the courthouse, but stayed outside of the courtroom in the event that immediate action was necessary from me in my capacity as deputy mayor. These actions could have ranged from informing the city manager so appropriate security measures could be taken, preparing a press release for the media, calling a special council meeting to determine next steps, or taking no action at all.
I was prepared for any eventuality and provided an update to council to ensure they remained informed. I was surprised that no one else from city council made time to attend court to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation or to offer their support.
Cam MacKay, St. Albert city councillor