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Citizens' Committee
Press Conference

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Here is the text from the Citizens Committee to the press

DECEMBER 12, 2011


Good morning everyone,

Welcome to this Comité de Citoyens de Clarence-Rockland Citizens' Committee press conference. My name is André Branchaud and I am the Vice-president of this committee.

Before saying a few words about the aim of this press conference, allow me to briefly describe the Comité de Citoyens de Clarence-Rockland Citizens' Committee.
This committee is an informal group of nine citizens which was formed last summer in response to the publication by Sergio Netaliano on Facebook of a number of emails dealing with the business of the Clarence-Rockland municipal council. The President of the committee is Jean Yves Pigeon. This committee includes citizens who are deeply offended by the contents of those emails, which in their eyes are scandalous. Those citizens have therefore acted to increase public awareness about unacceptable behavior by certain members of the municipal council and lawyer Stéphane J. Lalonde dealing with the City of Clarence-Rockland municipal affairs.

The emails have received some coverage in newspapers, they have been the subject of radio and TV reporting by Radio Canada, and many comments on Facebook. I emphasize in passing that in the Committee members' eyes, all emails published by Sergio Netaliano on Facebook last summer are authentic. None of us has seen anyone write them, or send them or receive them. However, we beleive that the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming and cannot be ignored; accordingly we have no reasonable doubt about their authenticity.

It is in the public domain that following the publication of those emails, mayor Guibord made a complaint about their theft to the Ontario Provincial Police, the OPP.
So, why this press conference? What exactly is the "new news"?

The aim of this press conference is to publicly release a Committee letter delivered to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mrs Kathleen Wynne. This letter conveys to the Minister our significant concern about the content of the emails dealing with Clarence-Rockland municipal affairs published on Facebook last summer, asking her to take appropriate measures to protect the interests of the Clarence-Rockland citizens.

This letter underlines that the Committee strongly supports the OPP investigation dealing with the publication of emails on Facebook by Sergio Netaliano in August this year. We believe that investigation is been conducted in a professional, rigorous and exhaustive manner, and I stress, includes the contents of the emails. That is what, from the Committee's point of view, is the "new news".

Any reasonable person who has read those emails and the many comments written about them on Facebook, would see expressed in those comments significant indignation, based principally on moral and ethical grounds. We feel those emails reveal immoral and unethical conduct on the part of lawyer Stéphane J. Lalonde, mayor Guibord and certain of their allies on the municipal council. The fact that the OPP investigation includes the content of the emails adds a new perspective on the scope of what, to our eyes, is a major scandal dealing with the operations of the Clarence-Rockland municipal council.

It is therefore this new dimension which motivated the Committee to address itself to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, by way of the letter you now have in hands.

All members of the Committee have signed the letter, except for one who was absent at the time of signature; however the Committee is assured of his unconditional support.

I want to stress that four municipal councillors have signed the letter. Although they are not members of the Committee, we are very grateful to them for publicly supporting the content of the letter and we recognize their exemplary integrity and thirst for justice.

In closing, on behalf of the Committee, I wish to thank GAB's Sports Bar for having accepted to welcome us here this morning. I also thank all members of the media and citizens of Clarence-Rockland for taking the time to come and hear what we have to say.

I will now gladly answer your questions.


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