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Two Niagara-area councillors cited for Truck Convoy participation

Two Niagara-area councillors cited for Truck Convoy participation

Two separate Integrity Commissioners reports have found that two different Niagara municipal politicians violated the code of conduct for councillors by their participation in the Ottawa truck convoy.   The most recent event came Monday where West Lincoln Council accepted a report that West Lincoln Councillor Harold Jonker, owner of a trucking firm,  had violated the code by organizing a convoy of 11 trucks to go to Ottawa, and that while in Ottawa he had participated in a number of media interviews supporting the protest. The complainant alleged multipole violations of the code of conduct but the Integrity Commissioner zeroed in on the fact that Jonker continued to participate in the event after declarations of emergency had been issued by the city of Ottawa and the province. The commissioner write, “Our concern does not lie with the Councillor’s participation in the peaceful component of the Demonstration but with his participation as a leader and spokesperson for the Freedom Convoy organization, particularly after the federal public emergency declaration on February 14, 2022.  His participation in and support of an illegal occupation was wholly inappropriate.” The Commissioner recommended Jonkers be docked a month’s pay. He also ruled that it was inappropriate for Jonker to accept free food and fuel in Ottawa and ordered restitution be made.

West Lincoln Councillor Harold Jonkers (Left), and Grimsby Councillor Dave Sharpe

Earlier this month. The Grimsby Integrity Commissioner made a similar finding about Grimsby Councillor Dave Sharpe who also attended the Ottawa convoy. Sharpe had argued that because he stayed in hotels and did not engage in horn honking he had not violated the law.  Again, the commissioner ruled that the violation occurred at the moment the demonstration was declared illegal by the City and the Province and Sharpe continued to participate. He Commissioner recommended a 15-day pay suspension for Sharpe.

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