The Quebec Municipal Commission has reprimanded a Gatineau city councillor who participated in an ad for the Brigil construction company.
A judge with the quasi-judicial body decided a two-day suspension for appearing in the 2015 video would be too harsh a punishment against Coun. Denise Laferrière. The councillor appeared in the ad for the Place des Peuples construction project, a real estate development that includes a 35- and 55-storey tower in Gatineau's Hull sector.
Justice Sandra Bilodeau wrote in her judgment a slap on the wrist was "a fair and reasonable sanction," but criticized the councillor for favouring the interests of a third party. The judge noted Laferrière did not benefit from participating in the ad.
The ruling came after citizens complained to the commission over concerns she violated the code of ethics of elected officials.
Laferrière's lawyer had argued her client had simply exercised her right to freedom of expression and should not be suspended.
The commission's decision also comes just a few months before the end of Laferrière's final term on city council.