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Man accused of harassing Sudbury mayor speaks out after charge dropped

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A 34-year-old man who used to live in Sudbury is sharing his side of the story after a criminal harassment charge involving former Mayor Brian Bigger in 2021 was dropper earlier this year.

Andrew Ouellette, who now lives in Alberta, told CTV News in a phone interview he lost several mining job opportunities due to the harassment charge.

Ouellette said he went to the former mayor's house uninvited to talk to him about solutions for people in the city experiencing homelessness.

"All I wanted to do was help these people," he said.

"Just because they are homeless, just because they are going through a hard time, I wasn't doing it for attention, I wanted to get answers."

Ouellette said after talking to some people at the downtown Sudbury homeless encampment, he had reached out to Bigger, but hadn't heard anything back and cold weather was approaching.

He said he was told by a city employee that due to COVID-19, the former mayor was working from home, so he went to the house Nov. 16, 2021, to ask him a few questions.

Something that Bigger told CTV News isn't appropriate.

"You need to remember we are people, too, and hopefully people can respect our privacy and the safety of our family members," the former mayor said.

And Sudbury police agreed.

"This is a reminder that there are proper and appropriate channels available to community members who are looking to contact public officials," police said.

"Attending an individual’s private residence is not an appropriate avenue. Please be respectful of their privacy and the privacy and safety of their family members."

Ouellette said he recorded video of himself walking up to Biggar's house, rang the doorbell and was only there once for about three minutes. He denies banging on the door, as previously reported by Sudbury police. CTV News has not been able to verify this claim.

Ouellette said he is just happy the charge was dropped, but more needs to be done to help the homeless and vulnerable.

"Be the change you want to see, because sometimes it takes only one person to make a difference," Ouellette said.

The Sudbury courthouse confirmed that the criminal harassment charge was withdrawn on Jan. 23 and replaced with a peace bond.

"The conditions in the peace bond contain a no contact with Brian Bigger or his immediate family and to remain 100 m away from any known place him or his family live, work, go to school or any place known to be," Sudbury courthouse said in an email to CTV News.

"To not attain the residence of any public official or attend on Maureen Crescent, Sudbury, ON (between Gemmell Street and Downland Avenue) And a weapons prohibition." 

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