Ad quoting Kings County warden criticized as election nears
Coun. Jim Winsor says ad touting good work by county in poor taste so close to Oct. 15 vote
A Kings County councillor is questioning why a glowing full-page ad quoting the county's warden extensively ran Friday in the province's largest newspaper, little more than a week before the municipal election.
The ad is titled How Kings County Took A Page Out Of The Ivany Report. It appeared in the provincial edition of the Chronicle Herald. It lauds the municipality for "adopting new vision and innovative approaches, seeking greater collaboration and embracing an increased willingness to take on risks associated with economic change and progress."
The ad includes quotes from Diana Brother, who is the warden of the Municipality of the County's of Kings, CAO Tom MacEwan, and some Michelin executives. It lauds the agreement to relocate the Waterville airport in anticipation of a Michelin expansion, and work to develop a business park.
Coun. Jim Winsor only learned about the ad Friday morning when some constituents brought it to his attention.
"I've seen some outraged people this morning," he said.
He said the timing is in poor taste, given election day is Oct. 15 and advance polls open Saturday.
Not clear who paid for it
MacEwan sent out a statement Friday that said there was no cost to taxpayers, but it's not clear who paid for the ad. It also isn't clear how much involvement the municipality had in creating it.
MacEwan said it had been in the works "for some time" and involved Michelin, the Freedom Aviation Society and the Baxter Group of Companies. The information in the ad is all positive, he said, and council members should be proud.
Neither MacEwan nor Brothers responded to calls and emails from CBC News seeking additional comment.
In the dark
Winsor said he spoke with some other councillors who also only learned about the ad Friday and questions why they were all kept in the dark.
"If it's about creating a good news story and trying to do something for Kings County, then why wasn't council a part of that?" he said.
CBC News is also awaiting comment from the provincial Municipal Affairs department about whether the ad is allowed during an election campaign.
With files from Carly Stagg