Tim Probe removed from RM of Sherwood council

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Tim Probe removed from RM of Sherwood council

Feb 7, 2018 | 09:52 1 Tim Probe removed from RM of Sherwood council
A judge ordered on Jan. 18 that he be disqualified from council, seat now vacant

CBC News Posted: Feb 07, 2018 7:12 AM CT Last Updated: Feb 07, 2018 7:12 AM CT
Tim Probe walks into the Court of Queen's Bench in Regina facing charges of municipal corruption and breach of trust.

Tim Probe has been removed from his position as a councillor for the Rural Municipality of Sherwood after refusing to resign.

Probe refused to resign after being found to be in a conflict of interest for his involvement in a council meeting on Jan. 13, 2016.

At that meeting, it was discussed whether or not Probe should reimburse the rural municipality for nearly $50,000 in legal fees. Probe did not recuse himself from those discussions before the council.

Probe and other members of council had incurred legal fees while testifying during another case. They had been reimbursed by the rural municipality for those fees.

After Probe refused to resign, the RM council brought an application to the Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan to have him disqualified.

A judge ruled on Jan. 18, 2018 that Probe be disqualified from council and his position on the rural municipality council is now vacant.

Probe is also facing criminal charges of municipal corruption and breach of trust. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

A judge is expected to issue his verdict on the criminal case in June. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 09:57 2 Is this case going to be a wake up call for RM councilors that they have to pay attention to conflict of interests?

Its likely that there are lots of councilors across the province who don't understand the conflict of interest rules and are putting themselves at risk. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 13:24 3 this is good to see , if he is guilty , have not followed it at all . to bad it couldn't be made to stick in prov. (gth land deal) and federal politics(free unauthorized trips to private islands) (insider trading) as well . sure would be nice to see some accountability put back into prov and fed politics Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 13:35 4 There's a fine line between conflict of interest and perceived conflict of interest. Some people take the "perceived" too far. They think that if you use the town skating rink, you shouldn't be on the rink board. Same with church boards. I think conflict of interest is where you financially benefit disproportionately. Sort of think that this may have been the Sherwood RM case here from what I read. You know the joke where the councillor's road is treated differently than mine? Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 16:00 5 "Sum" ...

You're correct that there is a fine line between what is an outright conflict of interest and what a reasonable person could "perceive" as allowing the opportunity for being one and the same conflict of interest. In fact there is such a fine line that it is not meant to be visible.

And that; dear reader; is why any reading or interpretation of "conflict of interest" legislation or guidelines is quite explicit in stating that elected officials are to handle what the distant public sees at first glance; in the same way as known relationships between public representatives and people who have direct ties to those same representatives.


Its all about what could cloud impartial council decisions and accountability through blood relationships (or personal financial gain) and in addition; close family friends or even friendships and relationships and less well know ties to potential negative and positive benefits municipal representatives could convey through business arrangements, old grudges and opportunities taken to get even. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 16:25 6 Here's exactly what the Ombudsman says about "Conflict of Iinterest" legislation as well as how council members are to conduct themselves when such cases arise. Note that CLOSELY CONNECTED PERSON"S ARE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED

WHAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
The Municipalities Act sets out when a council member will have a confl ict of interest
in relation to a matter that is before council. Subsection 141.1(1) states that a
council member has a confl ict of interest if:
…the member makes a decision or participates in making a decision in the
execution of his or her offi ce and at the same time knows or ought reasonably
to know that in the making of the decision there is the opportunity to further his
or her private interests or the private interests of a closely connected person.
Subsection 141.1(2) states that having fi nancial interest – including if a council
member could be adversely affected fi nancially by a decision of council - always
constitutes a confl ict of interest. Subsection 143(2) lists several situations in
which council members are considered not to have a fi nancial interest, even if
they could be affected fi nancially by a related council decision, but this situation
– Sherwood’s decision about seeking reimbursement of the legal fees – is not
covered by this list.
WHAT DO COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE TO DO IF THEY HAVE CONFLICT OF
INTEREST? DECLARE, DISCLOSE, ABSTAIN, REFRAIN AND LEAVE
Subsection 144(1) states that, if a council member has a confl ict of interest in a
matter before the council, the member, must, if present:
• before any consideration or discussion of the matter, declare that he or she
has a confl ict of interest;
• disclose the general nature of the confl ict of interest and any material details
that could reasonably be seen to affect the member’s impartiality in the exercise
of his or her offi ce;
• abstain from voting on any question, decision, recommendation or other action
to be taken relating to the matter;
• refrain from participating in any discussion relating to the matter; and
• leave the room in which the meeting is being held until discussion and voting
on the matter are concluded. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 16:33 7 Without some sort of oversight this will continue to happen. Locally a city had a mayor who fleeced the city by setting up an advisory position for a consultant before he resigned. As well, he created a deputy mayor position. When he resigned the deputy took over and hired the former mayor with a hefty retainer. If it wasn’t for concerned citizen calling bs and social media nothing would’ve happened. Aside from him paying some of his consulting fees back he got away. He even assumed a fake Facebook account to battle those who presented the evidence. Though when the election came anyone associated with him were punted and the new mayor brought in third party auditors. Reply With Quote
LEP
Feb 7, 2018 | 17:19 8 Wilton. How is the new mayor doing? Keeping things above board?

Last municipal elections saw a pretty major changing of the guard with almost half of all positions being newbies.

All RM councillors have to sign disclosure forms. Still won't prevent things like GTH from happening. On the surface there was nothing to connect Boyd and Tappauff. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 17:34 9
Quote Originally Posted by LEP View Post
Wilton. How is the new mayor doing? Keeping things above board?

Last municipal elections saw a pretty major changing of the guard with almost half of all positions being newbies.

All RM councillors have to sign disclosure forms. Still won't prevent things like GTH from happening. On the surface there was nothing to connect Boyd and Tappauff.
New mayor appears to be transparent and honest. The previous group appeared shady and entrenched in the past.

Small government by nature of size and familial relationships can be quite tribal. Nepotism can rear it’s ugly head Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 18:15 10 I'm of the opinion that councils and reeves would never dare to run "their" meeting as they do; if only those "public" meetings were televised in some form or other.

That and actually allow access to the information being considered in open sessions.

As it is now; you can sit through a whole meeting; without seeing or hearing hardly a shred of what should be the subject of the matter being decided. Between the BS and misinformation; and outright denial of facts and rebuttals; it is a near complete waste of any gallery attendee's time. Even when you wait for months for a submission to get before council; you can count on being threatened with RCMP removal if you attempt to say one word.

And I do know what I'm talking about; this isn't a riddle and conflicts of interest are rampant and not enforced when brought to council's attention.


A clear and present danger. Reply With Quote
LEP
Feb 7, 2018 | 18:39 11 I think there is an ombudsmen to approach if you know of a conflict.

But I would be careful about crying wolf in a small community. If you have proof, go for it. Reply With Quote
Feb 7, 2018 | 18:46 12
Quote Originally Posted by oneoff View Post
I'm of the opinion that councils and reeves would never dare to run "their" meeting as they do; if only those "public" meetings were televised in some form or other.

That and actually allow access to the information being considered in open sessions.

As it is now; you can sit through a whole meeting; without seeing or hearing hardly a shred of what should be the subject of the matter being decided. Between the BS and misinformation; and outright denial of facts and rebuttals; it is a near complete waste of any gallery attendee's time. Even when you wait for months for a submission to get before council; you can count on being threatened with RCMP removal if you attempt to say one word.

And I do know what I'm talking about; this isn't a riddle and conflicts of interest are rampant and not enforced when brought to council's attention.


A clear and present danger.
Sad thing is if this corruption is not cleaned up at the local level it gives reason for provincial government to amalgamate rms so there are less to deal with oversight. Even buffoonish spending of taxpayer money will warrant the same result if not brought to task. Then people do lose the advantage of having a local rm. Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 09:59 13 Amalgamating RMs would help to reduce conflicts of interest and decisions that are often skewed by very local politics. It is hard for small RM councils to make difficult but necessary decisions that make rate payers unhappy with local councillors and reeves. Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 10:52 14
Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post
Amalgamating RMs would help to reduce conflicts of interest and decisions that are often skewed by very local politics. It is hard for small RM councils to make difficult but necessary decisions that make rate payers unhappy with local councillors and reeves.
True enough. However, smaller rm government if run properly can be more reactive to local situations than a larger regional type government. Sad reality of politics is people get the government they deserve. Apathy, and irrational people elect poor government or cause the loss of rights. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 06:35 15 All councillors are to adhere to a " code of ethics" bylaw in their individual RM's. On our local council I have seen first hand how those "ethics" are interpreted and followed. The sooner there is an amalgamation , the better. Some of the crap that goes on in some of these little communities is pathetic,and needs to be changed. Time to clear out the driftwood! Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 08:39 16 I too have seen first hand exactly how councillors pretend or actually don't want to know how to handle the conflicts of interest that are inevitable. Those conflicts aren't bad in themselves.

They become problematic when not handled by strictly and properly distancing from all aspect of council decision making.

An open invitation is made for ratepayers to themselves think "conflict of interest" through.....and then for the first time in their lives to attend a full council meeting to see exactly what this means in reality. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 08:57 17 Read the Tim Probe and RM Sherwood court cases. Go to the Sask Ombudsman page to see the shit that may be going on right in your small town or RM.

Ask for the declaration forms of your local councillors; just like you do for the monthly minutes LOL. And their annual updates...and the form B's that are to be submitted within 30 days of any new conflict of interest that has arisen.

Can YOU handle the truth. Do you give a shit or are you just a willing enabler?

This will change ....because it has to. You want the provincial government to do what happened to health districts. You do know the provincial government is the master of Municipalities. They now recognize that each of their own MLA's must sit down with and discuss these matters with a full fledged professional person so that no one can say they weren't aware.

At least take a look at www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/disclosure-statements/ to see the tip of what is expected of each and every elected official, at each and every publically governing body.



IF IT ISN"T HERE ALREADY....THEN EXPECT IT SOON...AND WITH accountability and impartiality. Consider it a learning experience and take the time to do a bit of it Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 09:02 18 What happens when the gravel the RM need is on the land of a councilor? Other than the landowner leaving the room when discussions around it are conducted.... it would seem no matter the outcome, he may appear to be in conflict. And remember.... sometimes there is only afew people there to make the decisions.

Micro government may be the best way to describe it. And the smaller it is, the tougher is would appear to be non biased. I'm not making excuses.... sometimes there is too much self serving with the internal dealings of an RM(gravel, clay, equipment used by staff for personal jobs or for councilors) or roads being built or taken care of to a different standard than others.

I think it is a thankless job Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 09:49 19 Every time I hear that thankless job bullshit, I feel like puking.

I like you, farmaholic, but see it like it is, which is as galaxie explained. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 09:50 20 With respect; "fholic" ; to say "it is a thankless job" ...that is one of the oldest and most damaging statement that can be uttered. It conveys that we should be grateful and that the rare people who do hold elected representative positions should never be subject to opposition; whatever their goals or agendas.

It demeans the expectation that decisions are meant to be based on the evidence...the overall public good; and the notion that "conflicts of interest" have no place around a council table.

For those who think that all that is needed to handle "conflicts" is to declare it and leave the council chambers...there is little hope of changing the way such conflicts are commonly handled.


Read what the Ombudsman says must be done to handle such situations.

There are at least five components Declare... Disclose....Abstain...Refrain...Leave

https://www.ombudsman.sk.ca/uploads/files/news/97//municipal-coi-brochure.pdf


I don't think its clear enough that lobbying, or deliberately conveying your personal position on your "conflict" at any point before the rest of council makes their motion or bylaw...is also an important item that must be disclosed and recognized. Otherwise the whole council is complicit in what amount to a conspiracy.

So its somewhat complicated and ideally in all but rare cases; persons should either be one or the other (public representative or simple member of public) at the same time.

Recusing is another word if you don't understand "conflicts of interest" Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 10:51 21 Quote:

"I don't think its clear enough that lobbying, or deliberately conveying your personal position on your "conflict" at any point before the rest of council makes their motion or bylaw...is also an important item that must be disclosed and recognized. Otherwise the whole council is complicit in what amount to a conspiracy."

Couldn't agree more.... absolutely correct.

Here is another quote which probably explains why we get what we get:

"you couldn't pay me enough so sit as councilor".

Most must do it for the glory then because there isn't a pile of money in it for the time dedicated to meetings and business of the RM.

I was asked to appear before council to express my concern about the "shape"(flat as a pancake or even worse trough shaped) and condition of the municipal road leading to my farm.... compared to our nearly half mile long driveway to our yard. Even the municipal road sees minimal traffic because not too many people use it since we are the only ones who live down this road. Below are pictures of the municipal road compared to our driveway. They would say, "what does he expect it just rained...." well it just rained on my road too(that we maintain ourselve).... proof is in the pictures. But when you appear before council it is one against seven in this RM and how dare you question their management!

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Last edited by farmaholic; Feb 9, 2018 at 10:53.
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Feb 9, 2018 | 13:42 22 "Lead, follow or get out of the way" also rings true. As does the saying If you want something done right...do it yourself.

Some RM's are "seriously" considering contracting out municipal work; instead of buying equipment and hiring employees.

Just maybe they should be told that individuals could theoretically make that phone call on their own.

Lots of ways that work could get done; maybe even more efficiently (or even better) without having to pay that ransom that goes along with "maybe if councillors were paid more they would do a better job" .

On the other hand...how about working on obtaining a full council that are good managers; willing to work on behalf of the electorate (maybe even at less than their own cost); and willing to do their term of public duty and then step aside for others to take over.
Even better; look at it as an honor to serve as a representative; and earn the reputation of having left the state of affairs in better condition than when they arrived in office. Reply With Quote
LEP
Feb 9, 2018 | 17:17 23
Quote Originally Posted by oneoff View Post
"Lead, follow or get out of the way" also rings true. As does the saying If you want something done right...do it yourself.

Some RM's are "seriously" considering contracting out municipal work; instead of buying equipment and hiring employees.

Just maybe they should be told that individuals could theoretically make that phone call on their own.

Lots of ways that work could get done; maybe even more efficiently (or even better) without having to pay that ransom that goes along with "maybe if councillors were paid more they would do a better job" .

On the other hand...how about working on obtaining a full council that are good managers; willing to work on behalf of the electorate (maybe even at less than their own cost); and willing to do their term of public duty and then step aside for others to take over.
Even better; look at it as an honor to serve as a representative; and earn the reputation of having left the state of affairs in better condition than when they arrived in office.
My first response to this is fuck off oneoff you ungrateful prick.

I have been on council for one year. It definitely isn't for the money. It's pricks like you that make the job even worse.

I am paid a per diem for my efforts. But I make $1,000 a day and every day of RM business costs me big time.

If I had someone coming in a sniveling for fucking years about conflict of interest and second guessing every decision. I would have no problem telling them to grow a fucking pair, quit being a fucking pussy and put your name forward to run if you can get enough people to sign your nomination papers or go to fucking hell.

If all these problems were in fact real in your rm you would have a groundswell of support. If no one else cares then shut the hell up.
Last edited by LEP; Feb 9, 2018 at 17:20.
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Feb 9, 2018 | 18:24 24 I did it for 6 yrs. it is definetley a thankless job and the biggest bitchers never do sfa for the area including being a coincillor . Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 18:51 25 I sat on council for a few years but I wanted to know how things worked and thought maybe councils could have more influence to provincial policies....

Wheels turn very slow to the point where it changed my mind that maybe algamation wouldn't be a bad idea....

Even with this latest elevator closure I still think RMs should have put more effort in on behalf of the ratepayers. .. Reply With Quote
LEP
Feb 9, 2018 | 20:10 26 And just to be clear the $1,000 is on my farm, not the per diem. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 20:59 27 Farmaholic,

Your councilor gravel ownership inquiry, and your clay inquiry could be handled with a properly worded, open to all providers, tender process that is free of that councilor at the table from start to finish.

My sympathy regarding the municipal road past your lane, and your obvious concern over council stating, "how dare you question their management".

Consider this, it could have been newbie councilor leper who would in his colorful language, before he ran it by the colony, "if no one else cares about the municipal road past your lane, then shut the hell up".

I wouldn't shit you on that. He is my favorite turd. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 21:40 28
Quote Originally Posted by checking View Post
Farmaholic,

Your councilor gravel ownership inquiry, and your clay inquiry could be handled with a properly worded, open to all providers, tender process that is free of that councilor at the table from start to finish.

My sympathy regarding the municipal road past your lane, and your obvious concern over council stating, "how dare you question their management".

Consider this, it could have been newbie councilor leper who would in his colorful language, before he ran it by the colony, "if no one else cares about the municipal road past your lane, then shut the hell up".

I wouldn't shit you on that. He is my favorite turd.

Lol...takes all kinds.

The gravel/clay issue was a response to oneoff's comments about clay and councillors.

The comment about what does he expect it just rained was true....the "how dare he question our management" was my comment....but I can well imagine, and with the pictures it is hard to defend their arguments.

I didn't want to make it sound any worse than it was.

Also, I am on the record as sayjng, "the municipal road(past our lane) is a good road, but poorly maintained". Reply With Quote
LEP
Feb 10, 2018 | 00:02 29 My comments were directed towards oneoff. His comments struck a nerve when he spoke of being held ransom, and he thought perhaps a councillor might be more honorable if they worked for less than their own cost.

He has whined for several years on here about his rm council. The clear response would be to run and "cleanup" his council if indeed there is a problem. He has had an opportunity to run and "fix" the problem, but he has chosen to do nothing and bitch instead. Complete pussy imo.
Last edited by LEP; Feb 10, 2018 at 00:05.
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Feb 10, 2018 | 08:31 30 My first response to this is fuck off oneoff you ungrateful prick.

I have been on council for one year. It definitely isn't for the money. It's pricks like you that make the job even worse.

I am paid a per diem for my efforts. But I make $1,000 a day and every day of RM business costs me big time.

If I had someone coming in a sniveling for fucking years about conflict of interest and second guessing every decision. I would have no problem telling them to grow a fucking pair, quit being a fucking pussy and put your name forward to run if you can get enough people to sign your nomination papers or go to fucking hell.

If all these problems were in fact real in your rm you would have a groundswell of support. If no one else cares then shut the hell up.


I can only hope you are not fitting in well with your fellow councillors. You would be welcomed around some council tables that I have reported on; and your "frustration" could easily lead you blurt out "whenever "oneoff" comes before council; I already know what my council position is"

Quite likely you'll get unanimous support. You certainly won't ammend your Form "B" (within 30 days of effectively conceding that your mind is rewired to not being able to act impartially when conducting council business); no matter what the topic or the circumstances.

Your internal rage is dangerous; and for what's left of democratic principle of governance simply can not remain unchallenged. With the attitude expressed you need to keep your $1000 a day job; and not infect democratic governance with your agenda and thought processes.

So starting with but a few persons....utilizing the relatively few checks and balances left to oppose....your words will be spread to expose what people like you have kept relatively secret. Few of your friends and supporters will initially do anything other than offer what you take as strong (or maybe shallow support); and you will continue to say such things as "he too much of a coward to get on council"...to say the least.


That begs the question of how one gets on council in the first place. Not likely LEP would do anything other than spread the most malicious stories and distortions to make sure it never happens. Then there is the question as to why any person would want to be associated with up to six like minded, hostile peers who could and likely would do everything up to and including calling for the RCMP to remove someone for some alleged council procedure bylaw.

After council is given more than ample opportunity to address and correct gross infractions of "Conflicts of Interest"; and they show nothing but stonewalling; or "erring on the side of caution" that conveniently provides additional coverup protection; is it not time to use some of the other legal potential remedy that the "masters" of municipalities have provided? Those are protection's the law and regulations provide...and for any council member to try to deny those protections should be grounds for 12 years of sitting in the gallery of every council chamber in the province. Could be something LEP isn't aware of. And when LEP might bill for a full day on his expense sheet "Confirming at lawyers Right to Privacy Act"; at least tell the public what was learned seeing as how the ratepayers DID pay that couple hundred and some bucks.


One possible person is the Ombudsperson. Wheels grind slowly; but they grind fine. The Ombudsman and their staff had over a thousand complaints in the first couple of years of existence since given the responsibility to recommend solutions on complaints which do have merit. That office has power; and the Tim Probe report; along with the followup of a court application resulting from a personal refusal to reign...did result in this weeks dismissal from office. Thats the heading of this topic for those who may have forgotten or not noticed. There is a web page available for everyone to access to see too many examples of how Coucil's and their member have gone wrong (without knowing it????)


Another interesting possibility is the Information and Privacy Commissioner. It's a provincial government job; there's a website meant for pertinent information supplied a respected Queen's Court lawyer; and he says in layman's language the Legislative Assembly proceedings are available word for word; cities televise their open meetings; Saskatoon council welcomes cell phones and the using of them to broadcast live accounts from the gallery; and makes the point that its past the time for school boards ( and I believe extends that to all similar public goverance bodies) to become fully open since maybe there's nothing in open meetings that are meant to be hidden. You read the web site and see if that's not his recommendations and conclusion.

If no one else cares then shut the hell up

As for that statement; Cm'on back LEP and put both your feet in your mouth explaining that one.
Last edited by oneoff; Feb 10, 2018 at 08:50.
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