Mayor Matt Brown says an email instructing council members to forward all media inquiries regarding a controversial arms deal was meant to give them options how to react.
Speaking on The Craig Needles Show today, Mayor Brown was asked about the email uncovered by the London Free Press.
It instructed council members to forward all media inquiries to the city’s communications department in regards to the $15-billion General Dynamics deal with Saudi Arabia.
The deal has garnered controversy due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Brown says the communication doesn’t have an effect on a councillor’s ability to make their own choice.
“Each and every one of us on council is autonomous and that’s our decision whether we make a comment or not, whether we develop a position or not, and certainly that’s how I handled myself when I was a councillor (in 2010-2014) and it’s certainly how I handle myself as mayor, today.”
When asked if he would change how the email was written if he could do it again, he said he would.
“It certainly was a request that I was making as something to be considered, an option,” said Brown. “I want to make sure that I’m clear that’s the way that I always communicate with councillor colleagues because that’s really the way that this level of government works, that these are options that are available to individuals.”