When did we begin to confuse right/wrong with legal/illegal? It is a sad commentary on society when someone can defend their obviously questionable actions with “but it’s not illegal”.
The mess we call The Senate, and in particular the expelled Conservative Senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy, are excellent examples. Thousands of dollars are being spent to determine if their actions were illegal. No matter the outcome, most Canadian taxpayers agree the disgraced senators were unequivocally wrong. While in the role of credible journalist, either of these individuals would have made it breaking news if they had discovered a sitting senator was doing the things they now stand accused of. Ms. Wallin and Mr. Duffy know what they did was wrong but they defend themselves claiming it wasn’t illegal.
On the local front, we can look at Ms. Joanne Gignac. She made a commitment to the taxpayers of Windsor when she ran for re-election. She made a commitment to the Mayor and City Council. It appears her commitment to our city meant nothing. Remember, she’s not doing anything illegal but her actions are wrong. It is not a case where the government was shaken by a vote of non-confidence causing an unscheduled election. This year’s federal election has been on the calendar of every politician since the Conservatives won a majority four years ago. Ms. Gignac knew the federal election was in the near future and she chose to run for municipal government anyway.
But Ms. Gignac is doing nothing illegal. And now she has a soapbox from which to campaign every week. If you doubt me, watch the city council meetings. Last night Ms. Gignac was in campaign mode, arguing the importance of the community attachment to the Santa Claus and Canada Day Parades and as Windsorites we can’t let go of these traditions. The actual subject was whether or not to waive certain costs the City charges the Parade Corporation. Ms. Gignac wants the city to recognize the two parades as city wide events. She was campaigning.
While she sits on Windsor City Council, she has an legal obligation to represent the interests of Windsorites, even when they don’t coincide with the Conservative agenda (Paul Martin Building). Will she do this? There is evidence to support the accusation that Mr. Harper does not like people to disagree with him.
Ms. Gignac made a conscious choice to be the Conservative candidate in the upcoming federal election; I wish her the best. The right thing to do now is resign her council seat. Don’t be disruptive to our municipal government. Let an individual that cares about city government take over now while the council is still young and establishing its identity as a team. It’s the right thing to do.
** To see what was published on May 8, 2015, check out The Windsor Star. http://blogs.windsorstar.com/open-newsroom/letters/its-gignacs-soapbox