City concerned about workplace safety after alleged death threat against mayor

City of Nanaimo has launched an internal investigation following threats made at city hall last week

The City of Nanaimo has launched an internal investigation following threats made at city hall last week.

The incident, which happened last Wednesday night, resulted in a woman’s arrest after threats were made against the mayor and a city councillor.

Mayor Bill McKay said he received a call from RCMP that night advising him of a death threat.

“The superintendent advised me that there had been an incident at city hall and that there’d been threats uttered against myself and councillor [Diane] Brennan,” said McKay.

“I won’t be the first politician that’s had death threats against them, however, you have to consider the source, you have to consider the risk to you.”

The mayor said there were city staff members at city hall who witnessed Wednesday’s incident, “and I am very concerned for them, because apparently it wasn’t very pretty.”

RELATED: Woman arrested in Nanaimo after allegations of threats

RELATED: City acknowledges RCMP investigation into incident at city hall

He said the process has already started as far as city’s own investigation. The City of Nanaimo human resources department is working with legal counsel and an investigative firm.

“Based on Worksafe regulations, violence in the workplace regulations, we have to cover that off,” McKay said.

He provided other members of city council with all the information he had on Thursday morning, and then updated them later Thursday and again on Friday. McKay said he looks forward to getting the internal investigation completed “as fast as we possibly can.”

RCMP Island District is leading the police investigation and won’t disclose the name of the woman arrested because she hasn’t been charged.

McKay said he couldn’t confirm or deny that it was chief administrative officer Tracy Samra arrested. He said he wasn’t yet sure how last week’s incident would impact the city manager’s position.

“At this particular point it’s too early to tell,” McKay said. “Ms. Samra’s on leave right now. We’re hearing all kinds of rumours out there about what may happen in the coming weeks with respect to potential new employment for her; however, she’s not confirmed that with council that she’s going anywhere. She’s still employed by the City of Nanaimo.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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