October 12, 2017 8:53 pm

Coaldale mayoral candidate accused of breaching code of conduct bylaw

Coaldale residents will head to the polls Oct. 16, 2017.

Town of Coaldale

Coaldale deputy mayor Jack Van Rijn, who is also a mayoral candidate in the upcoming October 16 election, has been declared to have breached a code of conduct bylaw.

READ MORE: Election 2017: Coaldale candidates

The bylaw, instated on June 26, 2017, indicates that a council member whose business may profit from a transaction with the town needs to have that transaction pre-approved by the town council.

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Van Rijn’s company, Van Rijn Electric, was hired in late July to handle an electrical job for the Coaldale Curling Rink. The work, valued at $1,371.16, was invoiced to the town without that pre-approval.

The town says after council discussed the evidence in private on October 10, a public vote was carried to acknowledge that the bylaw was breached and that Van Rijn be given a written warning.

Van Rijn has also been directed to undergo more training on the bylaws to avoid incidents like this in the future.

READ MORE: Residents to vote on whether to end VLT ban in Coaldale

In a statement sent by Van Rijn’s lawyer to Global News, he indicates that his client breached the bylaw and adds that “municipalities often have business owners with whom they do business, as members of council, not only in Alberta but across Canada. To deter a business owner from running for council because they would not be allowed to continue their business relationship would affect the quality of candidates running for a seat in a municipal election.”

Read: Statement by Jack van Rijn’s Lawyer

The vote to determine the breach of the bylaw was carried 4-0.

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