Sudbury councillor writes prime minister about 'bullying' at city hall
SUDBURY -- There appears to be some tension around the city council table in Greater Sudbury and it involves the city's top bureaucrat.
Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier said Monday he felt compelled to write Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after seeing how he handled alleged bullying within Rideau Hall and the situation involving the Governor General.
"It was to thank him for his decisive action - that bullying and harassing will not be tolerated in Canada," Montpellier said.
But it's what's in the letter that is turning some heads.
"These practices have been part of our city culture for years," Montpellier wrote in the letter. "Finally made openly visible four years ago when the CAO of Greater Sudbury, working with the endorsement of some members of council, proceeded to publicly bully and harass a large number of private citizens."
He also cites a recent encounter in which city CAO Ed Archer referred to Montpellier -- in what he thought was a private message -- using the words "buffoonishness and hostility."
"It shows the inadequacies at the city of Sudbury, it shows that harassment will not be tolerated and bullying is zero, means nothing, it means nothing," Montpellier said. "It's acceptable in Sudbury is what it means."
CTV News learned at the time the mayor had penalized Archer for his comments by suspending him for a day.
Archer was also the subject of a recent, five-hour, closed-door meeting with councillors.
"There was some mention of it in the in-camera and today, apparently, I can't speak about what goes on in the secret meetings, but there was an address and today the known harasser and slanderer, still runs the city," Montpellier said.
'Robust complaint mechanism'
CTV reached out to the mayor and CAO through the mayor's office. We received this statement from the city saying:
"The city has a series of policies aimed at maintaining a respectful, professional workplace for employees and residents who visit and do business in city facilities. This includes a policy aimed at protecting against workplace violence, harassment and discrimination which includes a robust complaint mechanism in order to protect employees and the workplace environment."
Montpellier said he plans on following through with the complaint process, which he expects could include the Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsman.