Stettler County probes possible conflict of interest

County of Stettler has called in a lawyer to look into a potential conflict of interest by a councillor who denies any wrongdoing.

Council says in a Nov. 10 statement that it “has reason to believe Coun. Ernie Gendre failed to disclose the existence of a pecuniary interest in a matter before council at the Sept. 14, 2016 council meeting in accordance with Section 171 of the Municipal Government Act …

The statement goes on to say that “council directs administration to obtain legal advice on available options.”

County chief administrative officer Tim Fox said the councillor voted on a contract to extend a water line to a new public works shop. The winning contractor subsequently sub-contracted Gendre’s son to do some directional drilling on the project.

Under the Municipal Government Act, a councillor is required to disclose a pecuniary (financial) interest in a matter before council. A pecuniary interest is defined as a matter that a councillor knows or should know that it could affect the councillor’s family.

In those cases, the councillor must abstain from voting and, in most cases, leave the room during the discussion and vote.

Gendre said when he voted on the project, his son, Ryan Gendre, who owns Diablo Directional Drilling, had not been sub-contracted.

Since he did not know — and nor did his son — that Diablo would get the drilling contract, “I did not believe I had any conflict of interest in there, or pecuniary interest.”

Gendre argues he could not know when he voted that his son’s firm — in which Ernie has no financial interest — would submit the winning quote on the project.

“I have no control over who (the main contractor) contacts or who he sub-contracts on there.”

Fox said the law, not the county, ultimately decides whether the councillor was in the wrong.

Council’s attention was drawn to a possible conflict of interest in a letter to the county from a group of six ratepayers.

They claim that some of Gendre’s construction equipment was working on the public works building project, which they allege is a conflict of interest.

Gendre said the equipment was not his, but belonged to his son.

Just Posted

Schizophrenia a misunderstood illness, an Alberta expert says

Schizophrenia Society of Alberta campaign kickoff features TSN’s Michael Landsberg in Central Alberta

WATCH: Collecting coats and donations from drivers in Red Deer

Central Albertans made donations to keep children warm and neighbourhoods safe from… Continue reading

PHOTO: Fall Harvest Festival in Red Deer’s West Park

The West Park Community Association hosted the Fall Harvest Festival near West… Continue reading

Man dies in Hwy 2 collision near Ponoka

A 46-year-old man is dead following a three-vehicle collision on Hwy 2… Continue reading

Canyon Ski Resort aiming to open Nov. 10

The finishing touches are being put on Canyon Ski Resort trails just… Continue reading

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

4 men killed in shooting at child’s birthday party in Texas

DALLAS — An argument at a toddler’s birthday party in South Texas… Continue reading

German bus crashes on Swiss highway, 1 dead and 14 injured

BERLIN — A German bus crashed into a metal post on a… Continue reading

4 days after storm, large swath of Panhandle suffering

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. — Crews with backhoes and other heavy equipment scooped… Continue reading

Immigrants face hurdles to prove abuse by US agents

HOUSTON — Within hours of being booked at a Border Patrol station… Continue reading

Unicorns and pipelines: Notley and enviro-activist square off on Trans Mountain

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, with her arch pipeline foe sitting… Continue reading

A year into #MeToo, survivors’ stories resonate online and off: experts

Jenny Wright remembers scrolling through her social media feed a year ago… Continue reading

Emergency buzzer had been disabled in young man’s prison death: report

HALIFAX — An emergency intercom in the jail unit of a young… Continue reading

Most Read