A town councillor in Cochrane says he was forced out of a council meeting by the mayor for asking too many questions, but the mayor says the councillor was out of line. 

Coun. Rey Brisson said that he was in chambers on Tuesday to discuss possible changes to awarding the town’s insurance contract. 

Peter Politis

Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis (Supplied/Town of Cochrane)

According to Brisson, he pressed Mayor Peter Politis with specific questions about the proposal process for bidders. Brisson says Politis stonewalled the questions by ruling him out of order, and demanding that he leave. 

“How do you arrive at the proper decision if information is withheld and suppressed?” Brisson said. “He owes an apology to the taxpayers of Cochrane for trying to muzzle what goes on at meetings.”

Brisson said he refused to leave the meeting until the OPP was called to remove him. He said he left in handcuffs, which he said he requested to drive home a point.

“If a councillor doesn’t ask the questions, who will?” he said. 

Mayor Politis remains unapologetic about the incident, saying that Brisson overstepped the rules of decorum during the meeting, characterizing him as disruptive and aggressive in his line of questioning. Politis said Brisson baited him to call police. 

“In this particular case here, unfortunately this councillor does not come to order, hasn’t done so,” Politis said. “Five times he’s been removed from the council chamber. So obviously this councillor has issues with the rules, the authority and the order that’s required, and certainly the standards that we’ve set as a council.”

No charges were laid by police, who confirmed that Brisson requested he be handcuffed. 

Brisson, who was defeated by Politis in the last municipal election, said he is still weighing whether he will run again for mayor of Cochrane.