Halifax's top bureaucrat publicly apologizes for bizarre text to colleague

Halifax's top bureaucrat publicly apologizes for bizarre text to colleague

Halifax's top bureaucrat has publicly apologized for a bizarre and lengthy text message that included foul language and violent imagery that he sent to a colleague earlier this year. 

Jacques Dubé, the municipality's chief administrative officer, sent a text message on Feb. 12 to Amanda Whitewood, Halifax's chief financial officer. The text used the F-word multiple times. He later apologized to her, saying it was a joke. 

The eight-paragraph message was a play on an article about winter that appeared in The Beaverton, a satirical publication.

On Thursday, in a letter to municipal employees, Dubé publicly apologized for the message for the first time saying he has learned from the experience. He called the incident "isolated and no harm was intended." 

"I recognize that this has impacted my colleague, mayor and council, and our organization," said Dubé in an emailed statement.

"I should have thought about what I was doing before I pressed 'send'. I didn't think about the feelings of my colleague and I will always regret it. For that I am sincerely sorry."

Complaint filed about texts

Whitewood filed a complaint after receiving the bizarre series of texts and texted Dubé back saying she found the message violent and disturbing. He apologized to her. 

In Thursday's statement, Dubé praised the Halifax Regional Municipality's handling of the situation and said we must all "persevere" to build workplaces free from harassment.

"I would urge each employee to reflect on their personal conduct in the workplace and whether another employee could, in any way, interpret that conduct as harassing. If so, change your conduct. Be kind, generous and considerate of your colleagues," he said.