Former Deputy Reeve charged with breach of trust cross-examined
REGINA -- The cross-examination of former councillor and deputy reeve of the Rural Municipality (R.M.) of Sherwood, Tim Probe, continued on Thursday.
Probe pleaded not guilty to breach of trust, in connection to an alleged conversation he had with Jeffrey Poissant, the former reeve of the R.M. of Sherwood in early 2016.
In 2016, Probe had a conversation with Poissant, who was the reeve of the R.M. at the time, about a development project Probe voted against in October of 2015.
The project was comprised of a Suncore Energy truck stop development, proposed to be placed on 14 acres of Poissant’s parent’s land for an offer of approximately $35,000 per acre.
Poissant claimed Probe would vote for the development if Poissant voted for an agenda item Probe wanted.
Poissant said Probe wanted him to vote for a bylaw that would see the R.M. reimburse councillors for the cost of legal fees. Probe had previously received a payment of approximately $50,000 from the R.M. for the cost of legal fees.
During Thursday’s cross-examination, Probe said he disagreed with the Crown Prosector’s question.
“Would you agree with me that when you have a personal interest, would you agree that one of your obligations would be not to discuss this matter with other members of council outside of council chambers,” David Bélanger, the Crown Prosecutor, said.
Probe said he disagreed with the statement because all councillors will have some personal stake in all issues in the R.M. because they live there.
“I believed if there was a situation where you could gain you had to avoid that situation,” Probe said.
The crown continued its examination of Probe’s recollection of the conversation with Poissant and asked Probe about his intent.
Probe claimed he would never agree to the Suncore project unless his safety concerns were addressed.
He said he didn’t vote in favour of the Suncore project because of the increased traffic it would bring to the area and he worried it would cause a safety concern.
Probe said during his conversation he wanted to “create harmony” with Poissant who was a new reeve. Probe said there were divisive issues in the area and he wanted to properly inform Poissant about the situation.
“I had an obligation as well as a right to discuss those matters with him," Probe said.
This is the second time Probe has been on trial for the conversation in question. In 2018, Probe was found not guilty of breach of trust and municipal corruption but the Crown won an appeal hearing against the breach of trust charge.
The court will hear closing arguments on Friday.