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New Brunswick councillor sanctioned over installation of giant sandpiper statue

FREDERICTON — Ripples from the installation of a giant statue of a sandpiper in a New Brunswick village keep coming, this time landing a councillor in hot water.

The Municipality of Tantramar ended a two-hour meeting Tuesday with the reading of a long list of code of conduct violations committed by Coun. Debbie Wiggins-Colwell, who was instrumental in getting the big bird installed in April.

The violations include a failure to respect the decision-making process and follow policies, procedures and bylaws, as well as improper use of influence and of municipal assets and services.

The declaration said Wiggins-Colwell has agreed to attend training to better understand her roles and responsibilities as an elected official, including effective communication and teamwork.

Kara Becker, former deputy mayor of the village where the statue stands — now part of Tantramar —  calls the sanctions against Wiggins-Colwell a “witch hunt.”

The supersized sandpiper known as Shep was commissioned by Dorchester’s village council about three years ago after the original wooden one began to rot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press