County Councillor speaks to Freedom Convoy donation

During the activity of the Freedom Convoy which occupied Ottawa, and inspired similar protests in other parts of the country in February, Wheatland County Coun. Tom Ikert made a donation to the cause.

Ikert’s donation, however, was made in the name of Town of Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule, unbeknownst to him.

The intent of his action, according to Ikert, who freely admitted to doing so, was as a prank on his fellow politician which was never meant to have been discovered.

“Have you ever done a prank that has gone completely sideways? That is what happened. There was no maliciousness involved,” said Ikert. “I was sitting in the middle of lockdown, surfing the internet with my credit card in hand, which is a recipe for disaster, so I made a donation to the GoFundMe for the Freedom Convoy.”

Ikert explained he put Fule’s name on the donation line, thinking the action comedic, which he admitted was a “terrible misjudgement on (his) behalf.”

He added the prank was sent to four people, of whom he did not name, who agreed with his sentiment.

According to Fule, he was made aware of the donation by a resident who sent him a screenshot of the convoy’s donor list bearing his name.

“I think the list is public knowledge, and someone saw it and just took a shot of it and sent it to me. So I saw that it was there was made in my name,” said Fule. “I mentioned it to (Reeve Link), and I said that I would be contacting Mr. Ikert and I did and then he sent me an email apology. So I accepted his apology and it’s pretty much done.”

Fule added he hopes since the apology has been made, both the town and the county will simply move forward instead of dwelling on one poor decision.

“I’m looking at the big picture and we have just so much to gain by working together that we can just move on from this,” he said. “I just want to look beyond just my own personal situation and just look at the big picture, and just move on from here.”

Ikert explained when he discovered Fule had been made aware of the prank and was displeased, he attempted to reach out by his own volition to make amends.

“I tried to reach out to him and couldn’t get a hold of him, so I reached out to my Reeve … told her what I had done and I said ‘can you find out, is there something I can do to make this right?’” said Ikert.

“Amber talked to Pat, Pat said he wanted an apology. I gave Pat an apology, Pat accepted my apology. And that was back in February and I completely forgot about it.”

Ikert wished to reiterate he bears no ill will, maliciousness or animosity towards Fule; the action was a mistake, and he owned up to it.

The Freedom Convoy remain a controversial topic which continues to be investigated federally.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times