Opinions, Allegations and Threats
Posted by auroracitizen on September 16, 2010
The Aurora Citizen is again the target of a letter from the Town solicitor demanding that comments be removed from this blog.
On Sept 14th, Mr Bill Hogg received a registered letter from Christopher C. Cooper, Director of Legal Services/Town Solicitor with the comment “While the Town does not seek to stifle fair and accurate comment, we hereby ask that you remove the posts from the Blog, which posts suggest Mr Ballantyne is or has acted unethically and illegally in his role as the Town’s manager of Corporate Communications.”
Within the letter he also indicates the specific comments that are the subject of the letter.
So let’s be clear –in the quest for accuracy.
The comments identified by Mr Cooper are not posts written by someone associated with this blog — they were comments submitted by readers of this blog.
The first comment suggested that a Phyllis Morris quote included in a Banner article on her campaign for re-election was written by Mr Ballantyne.
The second comment indicated that they hoped that Mr Ballantyne was not responsible for updating comments on Wikipedia since they could be looked upon as electioneering edits.
Both comments expressed opinion. They were not asserted as statements of fact by the commentors.
The issue from the town perspective is that these comments implied that Mr Ballantyne was improperly using his office to help a candidate for re-election — which is inappropriate and a serious accusation under the Code of Conduct governing Town employees as well as the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
Fair enough — we have removed the 2 comments at the request of the Town since it is the Town’s position that “the suggestions made in the posts were not true, have no basis in fact”. You can read the entire letter by clicking on the pictures above.
We also do not want any allegations published — either by contributors to this blog or the numerous readers who comment.
We believe the protection of staff from being embroiled in political debate is an important issue. Staff are expected to remain outside the political battles at all times. After all, this terms enemy, might be next terms boss.
We trust that Phyllis Morris and the remainder of Council share this view.