By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Sturgeon County – Mayor Donald Rigney took some criticism from some of his council colleagues Tuesday morning for an off the cuff anecdote he told during the Mayor’s Business Breakfast held Feb. 22 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
During his 30-minute presentation, largely on oil and gas prices in the province and its connection to economic development in Sturgeon County, Mayor Rigney recounted having recently made a comment the province should be told to “Go take a flying f–k at a rolling doughnut” in reference to the additional steps that must taken to get projects approved.
“It used to be when we got the regulatory approval we were good to go,” Rigney said during his Feb. 22 presentation. “That’s no longer the case. It seems we need more than regulatory approval. There’s still the public buy in and the political. I don’t know where that’s going to lead. I think that is one of the most significant changes we face and one of the biggest challenges we face to our future. As I’ve said to both our provincial and some of our other counterparts – at the Ag Services Board meeting I said maybe we should tell them to take a flying f–k at a rolling doughnut. I do have frustration that we have to go to that extent.”
That commentary caused frustration for Councillors Karen Shaw, Ken McGillis, Tom Flynn and Joe Milligan, each of whom expressed their displeasure at what they saw as an inappropriate comment and use of language during the mayor’s speech.
Councillor Tom Flynn, although not directly commenting on Rigney’s off-colour comment, alluded to it, indicating he was not proud of everything that went on at the Mayor’s Breakfast Feb. 22.
For Councillor Joe Milligan there was the belief that perhaps a content warning should have prefaced the address. “It would have been better if we had a disclaimer about inappropriate content,” Milligan said.
Councillor Ken McGillis, in referencing the matter, said the anecdote did not sit well with several guests he spoke to. “I would not be honest if I did not bring it up,” McGillis said Tuesday morning.
The comment was particularly unpleasant for Councillor Karen Shaw, who said she and other women at her table were uncomfortable with the comment. “It was embarrassing, offensive and it just refers back to the council code of conduct,” Shaw said, noting it was her hope consultant Chris Sheard, hired by Sturgeon County to help council work better and more productively together, could help with that sort of thing.
After concerns about County Council’s ability to work effectively together, Shaw brought forward a motion at a recent Sturgeon County Council meeting requesting Council hire a governance consultant to work with them on becoming an effective governance body.