Following an independent investigation stemming from a complaint received by City Council in March 2023, Councillor Kraymer Barnstable, by a vote of 5 to 2, was found in breach of City Council’s Code of Conduct Bylaw with two of six allegations founded when City Council accepted the findings in the investigator’s report.
All municipalities in Alberta are required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to have a Code of Conduct Bylaw that sets shared expectations for conduct or behaviour. The bylaw outlines how members should conduct themselves while carrying out their responsibilities and establishes a review and investigation process when a complaint is received. The City of Red Deer passed its Code of Conduct Bylaw on July 23, 2018.
The formal Code of Conduct complaint submitted by a member of the public made six allegations of breach of City Council’s Code of Conduct bylaw, specifically in the areas of:
- Section 4: Representing the Municipality
- Section 7: Adherence to Policies, Procedures and Bylaws
- Section 8: Respectful Interactions with Council Members, Staff, the Public and Others
- Section 9: Confidential Information
- Section 11: Improper Use of Influence
- Section 20: Compliance and Enforcement
With these allegations submitted, a review committee of three Council members initially reviewed the complaint and determined it should proceed to formal investigation. Council then directed the hiring of Veritas Solutions to investigate and report back to City Council. Veritas solutions is an independent third-party consultant who conducted interviews and thoroughly investigated this Code of Conduct complaint.
With the investigation complete, the findings conclude four of the six allegations were unfounded, and two were founded with Councillor Barnstable breaching seven sections in the City Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
The six allegations put forward by the complainant and associated investigative findings include:
Barnstable breached the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw when he posed for a photo with Shaun Hamm and Artur Pawlowski, that was posted on Facebook in November 2022.
Barnstable claimed that she was stalking him, in a Facebook post he made in response to an April 3, 2023, article in the Red Deer Advocate, “City Councillor at event featuring controversial pastor”, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
On February 18, 2023, Barnstable publicly “liked” a Facebook post posted by Shawn Hamm who attended an event in Calgary featuring Christine Anderson, a member of the Alternative for Germany Party, and a member of the European Parliament, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
On February 1, 2023, Barnstable publicly discussed confidential information during a conversation in public, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
On June 22, 2022, Barnstable posted misinformation and his expressed opposition to an event for children (Drag Queen Storytime) at the Red Deer Public Library on Facebook, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
On May 9, 2022, Barnstable read a portion of a religious, self-published children’s book, written by his mother, and illustrated by his wife at the Glendale Science and Technology School during Education Week, to a class of grade 1 and grade 3 students, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
Barnstable failed to delete his Twitter account upon his election to Council that contained a tweet posted in 2013 that denigrated homeless people and trans-gendered people, contrary to the Red Deer Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
“City Council’s Code of Conduct Bylaw is about ensuring good governance that is in the best interest of the organization and our community. It is about accountability and transparency. As elected officials we represent the views of our community, and through our Code of Conduct Bylaw, expectations are outlined for how we conduct ourselves as we carry out our duties and responsibilities,” said Mayor Ken Johnston.
Having accepted Councillor Barnstable contravened City Council’s Code of Conduct Bylaw, Council acknowledged the following:
- Councillor Barnstable immediately and fully disclosed the breach of confidentiality to the Offices of the Mayor and City Manager (Allegation 3)
- Councillor Barnstable issued a public apology for his conduct (Allegation 3 & 4)
City Council also imposed the following sanction as a result of the breach:
- Councillor Barnstable will complete City Manager approved training in confidentiality, and diversity and inclusion with respect to the Alberta Human Rights Act by November 15, 2023.
As part of today’s meeting, City Council also passed a resolution directing administration to schedule training for all members of City Council within the next six months, specifically focused on diversity and inclusion with respect to the Alberta Human Rights Act as well as training related to confidentiality.
This news release is a high-level summary intended to outline key elements of the full report. The full Code of Conduct report prepared by Veritas Solutions will be released to the public after being reviewed for compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.
Costs related to this Code of Conduct investigation are not yet fully known; however, upon public release of the full report, costs will also be disclosed to the public.
Additional information resources: