New Brunswick mayor quits after councillors used his office as afterhours pub

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz

Mayoral troubles are catching on like a bug in Canadian cities, with corruption allegations in London, Montreal and Toronto, among others.

Now the mayor of a village in New Brunswick has resigned after a squabble with council over an issue that seems like small potatoes next to mafia investigations. He's fed up with councillors' drinking on the job.

Jason Carter was elected mayor of Charlo in May, he told several news outlets, and he was troubled by his colleagues' bad habits right away.

Carter told CBC that some members of council regularly drink at the office after meetings.

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He says the booze is bought with taxpayer money and the office fridge is always stocked with enough beer, wine, and liquor for someone to have a drink.

Why didn't Carter put a stop to the drinking? He was the mayor, after all.

Well, unlike federal government politics where arguments nearly turn into brawls, it looks like small-town New Brunswick governance puts politeness first.

Carter told CBC that he didn't want to stir up trouble. So, ever the gentle mayor, he mentioned his problem with the drinking casually to councillors — but they didn't stop.

Then Carter says he removed the supply of alcohol from the village office and put up a sign that said not to add any more.

The councillors became angry at being "dictated to" and finally, Carter gave up and resigned.

"I now realize that there is no chance of this serious problem being resolved, especially after Councillor Mercier informed me at the Nov. 29, 2012 meeting of council, that she would be putting the liquor back in the fridge in the mayor's office," Carter wrote in his resignation letter.

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The councillors don't deny they drink at work but they say Carter has grossly exaggerated how often it happens. Councillor Roger LeClair told CBC they only drink on special occasions and the liquor is leftover from Christmas parties and receptions.

Nonetheless, council accepted the resignation. It's seeking legal advice on Monday about how to deal with Carter's allegations, according to the National Post.