THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – City Council voted last night to uphold the sanctions that the city’s Integrity Commissioner suggested for Councillor-at-Large Aldo Ruberto. The Councillor will see five days of pay docked from his next pay period.
The decision came after almost two hours of debate that started with Mayor Bill Mauro seeking to have the Integrity Commissioner’s presentation not be heard by Council.
At the end of the debate, Council stood in a 6-4 vote in favour of the sanction against Ruberto.
The Council also voted last night to create social media guidelines for Councillors.
Ruberto’s sanctions come over a post the councillor made stating that “I hope it was the wind…” referring to an incident where an individual drove over a tent at a homeless encampment at the former Suny’s Gas Bar at County Fair Plaza.
Ruberto has asserted he was simply expressing that he hoped it was not a violent act.
The Integrity Commissioner said that part of the reasons for the recommendation made to Council was that this incident on social media was not the first time that Councillor Ruberto had comments brought forward by residents.
In defending his actions, at Council last night, Ruberto said “I wasn’t going to speak tonight, but then I drove by my old home on Secord Street, and I remembered where I come from.”
An unapologetic Ruberto says that he took his statement to an expert who said he didn’t see how his comments were unacceptable.
Ruberto told his fellow councillors that, “We are all on trial here”.
At the end of his statement he told fellow councillors that they should “vote their conscience, and that he loves them all”.
The vote to sanction the Councillor is a first at Thunder Bay City Council.
There was an attempt to have the ratification of the sanctions vote come only when the entire council was present. That motion failed.
The next step is the development of a new set of guidelines for Councillors on social media.