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Village of Pouce Coupe appeals a second court ruling giving mayor duties back; seeking funding from the UBCM

Village appeals second court ruling.

Almost a year to the day after the village of Pouce Coupe had a council decision reversed by the BC Supreme Court – the village has filed their factum appealing a second court decision returning Lorraine Michetti's mayoral portfolio.

A March 22, 2022 decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia saw the mayor’s duties and portfolio positions returned – reversing a series of October 2021 vote by village councillors. 

Last week on July 14, 2022 – the Village of Pouce Coupe's factum was filed with the court appealing this ruling. 

The Dawson Creek Mirror contacted Village officials this morning for a statement.

"The Village of Pouce Coupe Council has authorized an appeal from the decision of Justice Fitzpatrick, of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Village Council will not be commenting on the appeal while it is before the Court of Appeal other than to say that the Council believed the appeal to be in the public interest," noted Interim CAO Sandy Stokes this morning.

"As the Village Council believes that the appeal is of importance to all municipalities in British Columbia, it has sought funding for the appeal from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities."

On October 6, 2021 – a few moments after newly elected councillors Dani Veach and Marcel Woodill were sworn into office - a motion passed by the new-look council to remove Mayor Lorraine Michetti from representing the village on all portfolios. 

The then-new council worked down the list of boards and commissions Michetti currently sits on and represents the village – and replaced the mayor with councillors. Prior to the vote on the motion to replace the mayor, a short discussion was held to draft letters to each board noting a replacement, which predicted and forecasted the impending vote, result, and decision to replace the mayor. 

 The Honourable Justice Fitzpatrick ruling was on March 22, 2022 - after a December 2021 hearing on the matter. 

"I am very pleased with the result, and hope that I can finally get back to doing the work I was elected to do," said Michetti when when asked about the decision in March. 

Fitzpatrick's decision reverses the October 6, 2021 decisions of village council. 

“To support its position that it owes no duty of fairness to Mayor Michetti, the Village also argues that the Removal Motion was not a form of censure. In particular, the Village argues the record does not disclose any allegation of wrongdoing on the part of Mayor Michetti.

The Village describes the dispute as merely “political differences” between Council members,” ruled Justice Fitzpatrick on March 22, 2022. 

The Mirror will be in contact with Michetti, the Village of Pouce Coupe, and candidates running for mayor in Pouce Coupe for comment.

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