Integrity commissioner finds Wilmot mayor violated codes of conduct
KITCHENER -- A new report from the integrity commissioner found that Wilmot's mayor violated the codes of conduct of the township and the region.
The investigation by the independent third-party was launched after Les Armstrong posted a controversial video to his personal Facebook page over the summer.
The integrity commissioner received a number of requests to look into Mayor and Regional Coun. Les Armstrong after the video he shared in June. The video in question had a headline that read, "white lives matter. BLM (Black Lives Matter) exposed."
"Another view. Interesting," Armstrong added to the post.
One complainant described his actions as "hurtful and offensive to people of colour in Wilmot Township and beyond."
Armstrong initially defended the post, but later issued an apology in the form of a prepared statement.
The integrity commissioner's report found that his initial action of posting the video and his subsequent apology were both in violation of the township's code of conduct for elected officials and Waterloo Region's code of conduct for members of council.
The report concludes that Armstrong's been directed to present a "sincere apology" to the people of colour in Waterloo Region, acknowledging the offensive nature of the video and the steps he's taken to educate himself since.
The commissioner acknowledged that some may see the apology as "insufficient disciplinary actions" given that many members of the public were calling for much harsher consequences, including calls for him to resign.
Gita Shuster Ashley spoke to council about the post this summer and said she's shocked the mayor still has a job.
"Most people who do anything in a workplace that is considered inappropriate, racist, this is definitely a racist act there is no doubt in my mind, they are handed a pink slip and he's allowed to stay in power," she said.
Armstrong said he won't be making a statement at this time, as the report hasn't been discussed in open council.