CFN – In an odd twisty turny snakey thingy Cornwall Ontario Councilor Syd Gardiner still hasn’t been charge with several counts of mischief under $5K or whatever the correct charge would be after he wrassled with protest signs from a week ago.
CFN has learned that CAO Norm Levac found what signs remained and they have been turned over to Police. There has been no count or confirmation if all the signs have been returned including the ones that councilor Gardiner destroyed although he gave an interview to Greg Kielec of The Journal in which he described his actions as “bending” them so as to get them through a door.
No answers have been given as to why the signs were missing from Monday to this past Friday. Councilor Gardiner also has not been left off the hook.
So to recap; our elected official, incensed that the peaceful protesters left their signs outside of the council chamber made a spectacle of himself in the door way of the austere chamber in front of multiple witnesses.
And our police have now spent a week “investigating” with no results to date.
While I’m sure it’s not a priority surely this has become political. Councilor Gardiner also has not issued any apology to the protesters or the public for making a total rabid arse of himself.
This could be very good news for former Councilor Mary Anne Hug who is next on the list if Mr. Gardiner is forced to resign.
Protester Chris Cameron, whose eight year old son witnessed the events, sent us the following statement for publication:
Last Mondays City Council’s meeting I and many others were stunned to observe Councilor Syd Gardener in a state of fury at the entrance of council chambers in front of a packed chamber glaringly staring at the protesters while destroying our signs.I remained in chambers to observe the council meeting and was accompanied by my 8 year old whom I bring to council meetings to get a better understanding and teach him community involvement.I and obviously he was perplexed by a member in apparent good standing behave as such and much explaining was needed to have my son understand that the man violated our freedom of expression as well as destruction of our property..Meanwhile other protesters went outside chambers to talk to the police at the disgust of a member of council who deliberately destroyed their signs..My wife and others filed a complaint with police that night..The following day I was apprehensive and was considering talking to the others about not following this up with the police Till I read the article in Le journal by Greg Kielec . In the article Syd Gardener had fabricated a lie and informed Greg that ” he bent the signs so they would fit in the city hall lunch room but he did not destroy them.”.Had he apologized chances no further action would have been taken ,instead he allowed his integrity of his political stature to be tarnished for pride and fabricate a story ..I appreciate that the police have “found” what signs are left, but now my son has learned that bullying isn’t just in the school yard ..I certainly hope and will reinforce with my son that not all of the peoples representatives act in such a behavior ,though he has yet to see question period.
Laurie Branchaud, another of the protesters sent us another statement for publication.
Well it has been a week now and I have not heard anything back from Constable Sarah Van Den Oetelaar. It was Monday, February 25th 2013 at Cornwall City Council meeting that we met under shocking circumstances. My parents always taught me to stand up for what is right and to do it in a respectable fashion. That is what I was doing…That evening myself and a handful of other peaceful protesters decided that enough was enough and it was finally time to speak up. Cornwall City Council had been having way too many in-camera meetings, paying too many high priced lawyers and recently turned down an excellent opportunity with Cornwall Free News to promote the City of Cornwall. Funny thing is, this opportunity would not have cost the city one cent! I could go on and on but I won’t. My concern now is what had happened at that meeting and what are the consequences?We protested outside with our signs for about 15 minutes before the Open Council Meeting. Of course, Council was having another in-camera session during this time. We must have been a good bunch because the Standard Freeholder and other News Media walked right by us, not showing any interest whatsoever. That was really weird. A few minutes before the 7 pm meeting, we proceeded upstairs and respectfully placed our signs neatly against the wall in the hallway(as per proper protocol while in the meeting). Most spectators, council members and media were seated at about 6:58pm. All of a sudden I saw Syd Gardner standing in the doorway of council chambers. With our signs in his hands, he glared at the crowd of seated protesters and began to aggressively bend and destroy the signs(just like the Hulk, without the green). I’ll never forget that look of rage in his eyes. I’ll also never forget what it was I had witnessed.What happened to freedom of speech? What happened to citizen’s rights? My property was destroyed in front of approximately 50 people and by an elected city official! That is not only shameful, but against the law. Nobody on council said a thing to him when he did this, they let it go as if he was doing them a favour. I ask who keeps our Mayor and Council accountable for their actions? It is the people. If we don’t speak up, then things won’t change. When laws are broken somebody has to hold these elected members accountable, or are they above the law? Like I said, I am still waiting for an answer. Hopefully the investigation is coming to a close. I expect Syd to apologize to the protesters, resign from council and the city police to lay charges against him. An elected council member should NOT be allowed to bully citizens or businesses. Question is, who is going to make him accountable to the public? To the Mayor, City Council and the Police Force : SILENCE=CONSENT.