Township lawyers ban Current publishers

On Jan. 10 the Current sent the following email to Madawaska Valley Township’s th CAO, Doug Robertson.

Wed, Jan 10, 2018
Dear Mr. Robertson
With immediate effect a new, online newspaper is being introduced to the community, namely The Madawaska Valley Current. It is published by MadValley Media, a company of which my wife and I are partners. The purpose of this email is to notify you that representatives of The Current may attend meetings of Council for the purposes of reporting on the proceedings. Obviously, anybody attending in that capacity will sign themselves in as such and will sit in the area reserved for the press. It is the case as you know that each agenda contains an item identified as “Questions from the Public”. Over the several years that I have been attending meetings, I have no recollection of ever hearing any member of the press ask a question. This has given rise to the suggestion that such questions are discouraged. I presume this is not the case, but perhaps you will advise me of the Township’s policy in this regard as well as anything else we should know.
Yours sincerely,
Roger Paul
The Madawaska Valley Current

Robertson did not reply but MV Township’s lawyers, Templeman Menninga, did. They instructed the
publishers to stop communicating directly with the Township and instead to do so only through its lawyers.
They said:

This is in furtherance of our client’s duty to ensure a harassment-free
workplace for all employees …”
“Also, please note that you will receive a response from our office, if any,
according to order of priority.   [emphasis added]

Click here to read the Current’s reply to this unwarranted restriction which carries with it disparaging
innuendoes about the behaviour of the publishers. No reply has been received to this letter which is not
surprising as the publishers have never done anything that could remotely be described as “harassment” of
township staff.

This ban is all the more extraordinary because the lawyers were responding to the single communication
that the Current has had with the Township in its short history.

As stated in the reply, the Current has no intention of complying with the request as it will not trigger
needless expenditure on legal fees which fall upon taxpayers. The motivation for this astonishing behaviour
can only be speculated about; although perhaps someone can answer the question posed in the letter,
“Whose interests are being catered to by this conduct?” The Current continues to investigate this affair in the hope of uncovering the answer.

The Publishers

One comment

  1. Pingback: Forensic analysis confirms Peplinski’s threat against Current publisher | Madawaska Valley Current

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