Arnprior councillor avoids punishment for Facebook comments

ARNPRIOR – Arnprior council has decided Coun. Lisa McGee will not have her salary withheld despite the town’s integrity commissioner finding her in violation of the breach of conduct code.

At Monday’s (Feb. 8) Arnprior council meeting McGee was facing a 30-day suspension for comments she made on Facebook, which breached the town’s code of conduct.

Council received an official report on the matter and a recommendation from the town’s integrity commissioner which included docking McGee’s pay.

“Members of council, Mr. Mayor, staff, and the community of Arnprior, I am sorry for the choice of words in the post that I put up on Facebook,” McGee read from a statement Monday night. “I also feel a need to apologize to the community of What’s Up, Arnprior (a popular Facebook page where McGee first made the comments) And the reason for that is that, we’ve all seen it, there’s sometimes comments [that are] negative, you know, the negativity of keyboard warriors out there takes away from constructive discussion.”

After the apology, council voted to accept the recommendation as information, rather than moving forward with the suspension. 

According to Arnprior’s integrity commissioner William Hunter’s report, McGee posted in the Facebook group What’s Up, Arnprior? on Dec. 18, “Let me get this straight. [The mayor] blindsides council with his ‘plan’ on Monday, plans to apologize to the BIPOC community for his CBC blunder, turns his racist shovel into a backhoe and leaves council shocked and unprepared to deal with a plan we haven’t seen, and then openly criticizes us and suggest that we are holding this up? No. Just no. Gloves off.”

Arnprior’s code of conduct asks councillors refrain from making judgmental or critical comments about other members of council or staff, refrain from speculating or reflecting upon the motives of other member of council or staff, keep all confidential information confidential, and treat every person with dignity. Engaging in any form of violence or harassment also goes against the policy.