Klein condemns mayor’s statement on councillor’s past work for Nygard
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/03/2020 (1187 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s mayor is being accused of trying to undermine a key council critic after questioning if that councillor’s past job at a Peter Nygard company could distract him from his duties.
Mayor Brian Bowman told reporters Thursday he’d asked Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) if the legal challenges facing Nygard could “distract” the councillor from his role as Winnipeg Police Board chair.
“I felt it necessary to do my due diligence … I just wanted to inquire whether there were any legal matters that would distract him from putting his focus and attention as chair of the Winnipeg Police Board,” said Bowman.
Klein, who previously served as vice-president of Nygard Biotech, quickly condemned the statement as a misguided attempt to distract Winnipeggers from Friday’s release of the preliminary city budget.
Peter Nygard was recently accused of sexual misconduct against multiple women in a lawsuit. He has stated he is innocent and the allegations have not been proven in court.
The mayor said he accepted Klein’s answer that his past job is not a concern.
But the councillor, who is frequently critical of the mayor, accused Bowman of making the comments to distract Winnipeggers from what he suspects will be a “terrible” budget.
“It’s juvenile what he’s done … He is concerned with the budget obviously, which comes out tomorrow, and this is nothing more than an obvious attempt to discredit me before the budget is dropped,” Klein said Thursday.
The councillor has said he worked for Nygard for four months in 2012 and two weeks in 2014.
Klein said he suspects the mayor’s comments are personal.
“I realize he has been threatened by me since I arrived because I wouldn’t follow his word. This is another example of the lengths this mayor will go to if you dare challenge him and his leadership,” said Klein.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.