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Tougher punishment proposed for politicians who leak confidential info

Nanaimo’s mayor wants tougher penalties for politicians who leak confidential information.

Nanaimo city council, led by Mayor John Ruttan, called for harsher punishment – including removal from office – for councillors who commit serious breaches of confidential information during the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities conference last weekend.

According to Ruttan, politicians take an oath to protect confidential information including in camera information about land sales and acquisitions, but there are “very little teeth” to penalize those who break the promise. Currently people can be removed from committees or asked to leave the meeting for leaking in camera information, he said, adding in his opinion, it’s not that onerous.

Nanaimo city council now suggests the more serious punishment of removal from office for breaching confidential information. The move, which would require changes to the local government act and community charter, was endorsed at the conference, along with the city’s bid to see the province remove the ability for  licensed medical marijuana facilities to apply for farm status, according to Ruttan.

Results of the resolutions from the Island conference will be published next week. All motions passed will be discussed at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this September.

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