Motion on minutes sparks lengthy discussion of councillor’s health, whether he needs a doctor's note

Thompson city council devoted several minutes to discussing the minutes of the April 26 meeting when they met May 10.

Coun. Les Ellsworth contended that the minutes didn’t accurately reflect what occurred two weeks ago and that Mayor Colleen Smook had failed to give a ruling when he raised a point of order about Coun. Brian Lundmark connecting late via Zoom and disconnecting and reconnecting several times. Ellsworth, who said April 26 that Lundmark had told fellow councillors he’d had a concussion and wouldn’t be present for the meeting, said recorded votes in the minutes counted Lundmark when he hadn’t indicated a vote.

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“You did not give a proper ruling when it comes to a point of order as far as I’m concerned because you did not get a reply whether he was fit to carry on or not,” Ellsworth said. “I would not support the minutes because its absolutely wrong.”

Ellsworth also suggested that Lundmark was persuaded to participate in the meeting.

“I believe there was a lot of pressure put on someone that had been injured to come on that meeting that night and that to me is awful.”

Deputy mayor Duncan Wong asked if Lundmark had a doctor’s note to prove that he was fit to be taking part in making decisions at Monday’s meeting.

“I don’t think that’s any of their business, first of all, and yes, I’m here and I’m capable,” said Lundmark, who was participating in the May 10 meeting via Zoom as well.

His disconnections and reconnections the previous meeting were related to Zoom, Lundmark said.

“There was something wrong with the connection, that’s all.”

Coun. Earl Colbourne questioned if everything at the April 26 meeting was conducted in accordance with the Municipal Act. 

City manager Anthony Mcinnis said his understanding of the act was that it is up to councillors to decide whether they are participating in a meeting or a particular vote or declaring a conflict of interest and that the rest of council has no say in the matter.

Wong said Lundmark wrote in an email the afternoon of April 26 that he hadn’t been able to go through the budget information at that point.

“I was able to review the minutes and the things I needed to and I’d been there through the whole budget process,” Lundmark said in reply.

Councillors Kathy Valentino and Andre Proulx said questioning Lundmark’s fitness at the previous meeting was out of line, with Proulx pointing out that none of the councillors are doctors.

Though he said he didn’t necessarily disagree with Ellsworth and Wong’s point, Coun. Jeff Fountain said certain information is off-limits.

“People’s medical information is privileged,” he said. “It shouldn’t be put put there publicly.”

The minutes were approved by a majority of councillors following the discussion.

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