Charlottetown council concludes Coun. Trevor MacKinnon breached code of conduct last year

Trevor MacKinnon made the comment sometime in the spring of 2023. A formal complaint was made on June 12 of that year, the same day he apologized to council. (Submitted - image credit)
Trevor MacKinnon made the comment sometime in the spring of 2023. A formal complaint was made on June 12 of that year, the same day he apologized to council. (Submitted - image credit)

Charlottetown's city council has voted to accept an investigator's conclusion that Ward 8 Coun. Trevor MacKinnon breached the city's code of conduct.

At a special meeting on June 3, councillors voted 6-0 to accept the findings of an independent investigator. MacKinnon himself and Coun. Bob Doiron both abstained from the vote due to a conflict of interest, and Coun. Mitch Tweel and John McAleer were not present.

It's not clear exactly what part of the code of conduct MacKinnon breached, but the investigation was triggered in response to comments he made to a member of the public in the spring 2023, which led to a formal complaint.

MacKinnon offered his apology at a meeting in council chambers on June 12, 2023, the same day the complaint against him was lodged.

"I'd like to say that I am sorry for a disrespectful comment that I made to a member of the public earlier in the spring," the councillor said that day. "I do regret what I said and how it was said because it was said out of anger and it did cause hurt to the individual that I spoke to."

MacKinnon, who has been on council since 2022, said he was aware he needed to "do better."

Councillor Trevor MacKinnon (at right in this file photo) apologized for the comments and acknowledged that he needs to 'do better.' (Laura Meader/CBC)

After the apology, Mayor Philip Brown thanked him for his words and said the council is trying to "go in the right direction, the path of trying to get along with each other."

As a result of the comments, MacKinnon was removed as chair of the city's protective and emergency services committee. In addition, all members of council took code of conduct training in early 2024.

According to the resolution passed by council, no further action is required to remedy the situation.

The cost of the investigation into MacKinnon's behaviour totalled nearly $10,000.

MacKinnon's profile on the Charlottetown council website notes that he's a volunteer with the Special Olympics' Law Enforcement Torch Run as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus, and has been a volunteer firearm safety instructor for more than two decades.

The city says details about the incident and investigation are confidential. MacKinnon did not respond to a request for comment from CBC News.