Ex-police board member says he resigned, wasn’t ousted from Winnipeg committee

A former member of the Winnipeg Police Board says he wants to set the record straight about why he’s no longer there.

Kyle Mason’s appointment was revoked at Wednesday’s executive policy committee meeting for allegations he breached the code of ethical conduct.

The motion, which still needs to be approved by council, was put forward by Mayor Scott Gillingham.

Mason, an Indigenous consultant and speaker, said the motion was unexpected and upsetting — and wrong, because it was actually his decision to leave.

He said he mixed up the dates for his vehicle insurance renewal and only realized it when he was stopped by police and given a ticket for driving uninsured.

“I feel embarrassed. I feel silly that I missed my dates and all this has happened,” he said.

‘Not an enjoyable day’

After some reflection, Mason said he decided it was best to step down.

“I didn’t want this to be a distraction from the work of the police board or distraction from my personal life, so I decided back on May 3 to resign,” he said.

“And then … yesterday it was being reported that my membership was being revoked. I was quite upset and quite concerned. It made things sound a lot harsher than what reality is.”

Mason said his phone was steadily buzzing as word of the revocation spread.

“Winnipeg is not a huge metropolis, so word gets around. People were concerned and reaching out and asking what happened,” he said. “[It] was not an enjoyable day for me. So I’m hoping to have people correct the record today.”

Mason said he has reached out to Gillingham “and the mayor indicated to me this morning that the motion will be amended to reflect my resignation.”

A spokesperson in the mayor’s office confirmed to CBC News on Thursday that the wording will be changed. The mayor, however, is not commenting on the matter.

“Any questions specific to that item, I’ll defer to the police board chair, Coun. Markus Chambers, to answer those questions as really, that specifically is a police board matter,” Gillingham said in a news conference with media after Wednesday’s EPC meeting.

CBC News has reached out to Chambers and is waiting to hear back.

Gillingham on Wednesday said he made the motion to revoke Mason’s appointment “based on the recommendation of the police board” and as head of EPC.

Gillingham said he recused himself from police board discussions about the matter because he originally recommended Mason to sit on the board.

“I felt it was appropriate,” he said.

The EPC motion recommends Colleen Mayer, a former MLA with Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party, fill Mason’s spot for the balance of his two-year term, which expires Dec. 31, 2024.

Mayer was already serving on the board as an appointee of the provincial government, but her term was coming to an end. She will now be a City of Winnipeg appointee, Gillingham said.

Keeping her there will maintain continuity during the work to hire a new police chief, he said.

Mason said he wouldn’t be opposed to rejoining the board in the future, “but I’m not advocating for it, either.”

“The board does very important work and I wish them all the best,” he said.

“They have a lot of important businesses ahead of them with finding a new chief of police. That was one of the things that factored into the resigning — I didn’t want any distraction for the board or for this process, because finding a new chief is an extremely important thing for this community.”