Nanaimo councillor Pratt resigns

By Dominic Abassi
April 7, 2017 - 4:50pm Updated: April 7, 2017 - 5:28pm

First time councillor Wendy Pratt has resigned.City of Nanaimo

NANAIMO — Councillor Wendy Pratt has resigned.

Mayor Bill McKay said Pratt advised him in writing around 12 p.m. Friday.

"I am saddened, I enjoyed working with Wendy Pratt," McKay said. "She was a hard worker, she was dedicated to her work and she spent many, many years in the service of her community and I'm certainly going to miss her."

McKay said Pratt "left her reasons vague on purpose.

"It's a tough game being in the political arena...she's expressed to me a number of times that due to the stress her health is suffering and she needed to concern herself with that," he said.

Pratt told NanaimoNewsNOW she will not comment at this time. The first term councillor has been on medical leave for several weeks.

When asked what role he thought the fractured nature of Nanaimo's council played in Pratt's decision to resign, McKay said "I can't believe that it didn't have something to do with it or play a significant role."

McKay said he's concerned "personal dynamics" may make others hesitate from getting involved in Nanaimo's political scene.

Acting city clerk Sheila Gurrie said there will need to be a byelection "as soon as practicable." She said it's fair to assume the cost of a byelection would be in the same range as the $130,000 events centre referendum.

Gurrie said it's unclear at this point when a byelection will be held.

All other members of council were emailed for comment. None have replied.

On his Facebook forum, coun. Gord Fuller commented "As folk will ask this does have to do with the Special Prosecutor Release."

Last week it was announced a special prosecutor was guiding RCMP with an on-going investigation into Nanaimo Council. The announcement also revealed a councillor had recently been arrested and released on condtions. Neither RCMP nor the Criminal Justice Branch would confirm which member of council was involved or specifically what the investigation was about.

"I feel for Wendy and her health is more important than carrying on in the environment she believes she needs to leave," McKay said.

 

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