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CBC: Cllr. Balsom under conflict-of-interest investigation

Last Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 11:12 am MDT

PHOTO. Krista Balsom announcing that she is seeking a Ward One council seat. Jenna Hamilton/ MORNING REPORTER.

Councillor Krista Balsom is being tight-lipped about allegations she didn’t sufficiently recuse herself from particular budget votes.

The CBC is reporting that Balsom is being investigated for conflict of interest after she allegedly voted on budget items that she had financial interest in.

Balsom operates Balsom Communications, a marketing company that does work for RMWB entities.

Balsom responds

In a Facebook post on February 27, Balsom wrote,

“The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has been one of YMM’s advertisers since the launch of the magazine six years ago. Because of this relationship, and with existing contracts in place that were signed before I was elected as a municipal Councillor, I am declaring a pecuniary interest. As such, I will not be participating in discussion or debate, or voting on the Communications and Stakeholder Relations portion of the 2018 Municipal Budget. At the same time, YMM will continue to accept advertising and story submissions from the hardworking staff of the Municipality based on the relationship and contract that is in place. This decision comes following discussion with many in the community, our staff, and the legal team at the Municipality.”

On Friday, Balsom said she supports the right of every citizen, no matter who, to question government.

“I will be making a statement in response to the people who alleged I did not sufficiently recuse myself from all requisite budget votes when I have learned of the full details, and retained legal counsel in this important matter. Until then, I draw your attention to this Facebook post I made during the budget process earlier in 2018. As soon as I am able, I will comment further, and with as much transparency as possible. Thank you for your patience.”

MyMcMurray reached out the RMWB, they did not confirm or deny that there was an investigation.

Jordan Redshaw, communications strategist with the RMWB, referred MyMcMurray to the Whistleblower program.

He added that the only bit of information they were able to provide was that MNP, an independent and impartial third party, receives and processes all allegations.