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Niagara chair says West Lincoln mayor’s message to female constituent ‘inappropriate’

Don Mitchell / Global News

Niagara Region’s chair has apologized to a constituent he says was the subject of an ‘inappropriate’ message from councillor and West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma.

Jim Bradley issued a statement on Tuesday saying he was “deeply concerned and troubled” by the actions of Bylsma who allegedly asked a Niagara woman if she had her period following a COVID-19 vaccination.

“It is exceptionally disappointing that a statement needs to be issued on a topic of conversation that is so obviously inappropriate,” Bradley said.

Read more: Integrity commission expected to probe West Lincoln mayor’s participation in St. Catharines protest

“These types of interactions are embarrassing, and reflect poorly on our entire community.”

A post with the questionable message was shared on social media Tuesday and suggests Bylsma asked a vaccine recipient if she noticed changes in her menstrual cycle after getting the shot.

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“You posted that you received the vaccine a while back correct? Not a usual question to ask an acquaintance but did you notice any changes in your period?” the message said.

Bradley snapped back after seeing the post and condemn the communication.

“I want to be clear: I completely condemn the Councillor’s conduct in regard to this matter,” the chair said.

“This behaviour is not becoming of a regional councillor, nor is it the type of conduct the public expects and deserves from an elected official.”

Read more: Niagara to ‘discuss’ concerns over West Lincoln mayor’s ties to St. Catharines anti-lockdown rally

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Bylsma has been the subject of criticism from Bradley in recent months with the chair filing a complaint with the integrity commissioner over the mayor’s participation in an anti-lockdown demonstration on April 10 in St. Catharines.

The probe is tied to an anti-COVID-19 lockdown protest on Lake Street in St. Catharines in which Bylsma received a summons to appear for allegedly failing to comply with orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

The mayor lost his seat on West Lincoln’s emergency operations centre after council removed him from the position in April saying his actions were a “conflict of interest matter.”

Read more: West Lincoln mayor removed from emergency ops post amid investigation into COVID-19 protest

Bradley took it upon himself to apologize for Byslma in his statement calling the interaction with the resident “none of his concern.”

“Finally, I want to express my sincere apology to the individual who was subjected to this interaction: it is offensive and unacceptable,” said Bradley.

“I also want the public to know that this behaviour does not reflect Regional Council’s values, nor our code of conduct.”

Global News has reached out to Bylsma for reaction to the summons, his removal from West Lincoln’s EOC team, and the message sent to his constituent on Tuesday. The mayor has not responded to any of the queries.

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Click to play video: 'Fact or Fiction: Why are people reporting menstrual changes after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?' Fact or Fiction: Why are people reporting menstrual changes after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Fact or Fiction: Why are people reporting menstrual changes after getting the COVID-19 vaccine? – May 9, 2021

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