A Port Coquitlam councillor is being censured and stripped of her duties for disclosing confidential information, according to the city.
In a written statement released Thursday, May 28, the city said Coun. Laura Dupont had been under investigation by an independent investigator and is said to have breached the Community Charter by disclosing materials from an in-camera meeting. Neither the city or the mayor would elaborate on what was leaked.
Council unanimously agreed that Dupont’s breach was unbecoming and that her actions merit her censure and removal as the city’s representative on all external boards and committees.
In an interview with The Tri-City News, Dupont apologized for what she called a “mistake.” However, while she could not elaborate on what occurred in a closed meeting, she said she had “nothing to gain from this.”
“The censure and sanctions are extremely heavy handed,” she said. “I think if the community knew the details of this, they would be surprised.”
Dupont believes the censure is a way of silencing her outspoken efforts on environmental protection and climate change. She confirmed she was no longer a member of Metro Vancouver’s Climate Change Action Committee, she has been removed from the acting-mayor rotation and her appointment to the Tri-Cities Healthy Community Partnership has been revoked.
“I think I am being silenced because of that work,” she said.
There has been a “culture of bullying” at the council table since the last election, she added.
“It has been a really intimidating place,” she said. “I have been feeling extremely intimidated.”
Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said he could not comment on the matter.
Coun. Dupont was first elected in 2014 and has often advocated for environmental causes. She has been involved with the Burke Mountain Naturalists, the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society and the Tri-City Green Council.