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McKinnon announces leave from city council

Red River ward councillor asks for understanding, privacy as he announces leave; hopes to return in March.
Brian McKinnon
Red River ward Coun. Brian McKinnon announced he is on personal leave from city council. (File photo)

THUNDER BAY – Coun. Brian McKinnon has announced he is taking a leave from Thunder Bay's city council, over what he described as personal reasons.

The long-time Red River ward councillor has been absent from several recent meetings, including deliberations over the 2022 municipal budget.

In a letter to council colleagues, McKinnon asked for understanding, and respect for his family’s privacy, during his absence.

“My duties as an elected official for the City of Thunder Bay are important to me,” he wrote. “I want to reassure constituents that I do not take this time away from my responsibilities lightly and am proceeding because it is necessary at this time.”

McKinnon, a retired principal first elected to council in 2006, said he hoped to return to his duties by March.

In the meantime, he said the city clerk’s office would be working with him to redirect correspondence from constituents. He also encouraged constituents to contact other members of council with questions or concerns.

Councillors require a resolution of council to approve absences of more than three consecutive months. Without that approval, their seat can be vacated under Ontario’s Municipal Act.

McKinnon said while notice of his absence was not formally required until that three-month mark, he wanted to “be transparent and open with residents of Thunder Bay.”

Ian Kaufman

About the Author: Ian Kaufman

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