Far right media site says West Lincoln councillor suing township after freedom convoy reprimand

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Published September 27, 2022 at 2:43 pm

Is West Lincoln Ward 2 Councillor Harold Jonkers suing the township after having a month's pay docked? One right-wing media outlet says he is.

A right-wing media site claims a West Lincoln councillor is suing the Township after being reprimanded for participating in the February Freedom Convoy to Ottawa.

However, after saying Ward 2 Councillor Harold Jonker was suing the township, the same story says just two sentences later that an organization called “Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms” (JCCF) has announced a lawsuit on his behalf Monday (September 26).

Obviously, suing the town directly or another body suing the town in your name are two separate things.

A call to Jonker for clarification by InNiagaraRegion over the True North media story has not yet been returned.

While Jonker is quoted in the story, it would seem they were quotes from elsewhere and not directly made to True North.

Ironically, the township itself did not reprimand Jonker, at least at first.

West Lincoln Council initially shot down the motion in March by a 5-2 vote that Jonker’s attendance at the “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa conflicted with his duties as a councillor back in February.

However, it seems a separate inquiry in July from the town’s Integrity Commissioner found an issue. The commissioner believed that Jonker had accepted free gas and food in return for his attendance at the Ottawa protest.

So on July 18, council voted 5-1 in favour of recommendations presented by the Commissioner, including having Jonker’s pay docked for 30 days.

In the story, the JCCF claims, “This lawsuit seeks to strike the decision to financially punish Mr. Jonker. Justice Centre lawyers assert that the decision is invalid due to procedural irregularities, factual errors and flawed findings in the investigative report prepared by West Lincoln’s Integrity Commissioner, most notably the finding that Mr. Jonker participated in an illegal activity.”

“The lawsuit also claims that the decision violated Mr. Jonker’s Charter right to freedom of expression”

At the time of the Integrity Commissioner’s findings, Jonker said, “I did not personally receive any gifts or benefits from people in this township. If anything Jonker Trucking, which I own, lost money and continues to not function in a way it would like.”

He maintained he paid for his own fuel but admitted he had received “coffee, breakfast and hamburgers” free.

West Lincoln Mayor Dave Blysma also attended the February protest in Ottawa.

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