Nova Scotia

Reoffering former warden says he was disciplined for saying, 'You're stupid'

A former warden for the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth has decided to reoffer as a councillor in the upcoming municipal election despite receiving disciplinary action at the end of June.

Leland Anthony was given a paid leave of absence until the end of the term in October

Leland Anthony, the former warden for the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, has decided to reoffer in the upcoming municipal election despite receiving disciplinary action at the end of June. (Municipality of Yarmouth)

A former warden for the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth has decided to reoffer as a councillor in the upcoming municipal election despite receiving disciplinary action at the end of June.

Leland Anthony was given a paid leave of absence until the end of the term in October after an internal review was conducted under the municipality's code of conduct and violence in the workplace policy. He has been replaced by the acting deputy warden, John Cunningham.

At the time no details about the complaints that sparked the review were released. In an interview with CBC on Wednesday, Anthony said it involved a comment he made during a virtual meeting with councillors from other municipalities.

"My verbal abuse was basically, 'you're stupid,'" said Anthony. "I didn't think anything at the time, would come of it, but the other two councils wrote letters so the municipality had to act."

Anthony was also ordered to take anger management sessions, which are continuing. 

"I'm working on that once a week," said Anthony. "She's teaching me to know when I've had enough stress."

Six of seven council seats in the upcoming municipal election will be contested for the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth (Robert Short/CBC)

According to Victoria Brooks, the municipality's CAO, the public is not paying for the anger management counselling.

Anthony said he spoke to people who live in his district before deciding to reoffer. He believes he continues to have support.

Other candidates running

There are two other candidates running against Anthony to represent District 7, which includes Sandbeach, Chebogue Point and Kelly's Cove. Nick Hilton said his grandfather used to be a municipal councillor in the area for 25 years. Hilton described himself as a long time community volunteer.

"I think the community is ready for change," Hilton said in an interview. "I've been knocking on doors and that's what I've heard."

Sandra Fitzgerald used to be a school board member and decided last year she was going to jump into municipal politics. She did not want to comment directly on Anthony's situation, but said it does have some voters wondering.

"They are worried," she said. "But people have to vote for who they feel will do the best for their community."

John Cunningham is the only candidate in District 1, so he has been acclaimed. There are races in the five other districts, including six candidates in District 4.

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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