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City of Barrie and former mayoral candidate legal battle

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The City of Barrie and a former councillor and mayoral candidate are going head-to-head in the courts.

In April, Mike McCann filed a lawsuit against the city and John Doe for 5.5 million dollars, claiming that confidential information about alleged harassment allegations was released to the public, damaging his reputation.

Now, the city is fighting back, filing a statement of defence denying all of McCann's claims, only agreeing with the fact that the city is home to 148 thousand people and governed by municipal laws and that the city hired a third party to investigate the allegations against McCann.

The 2020 third-party report findings uncovered that on a balance of probabilities, Mccann acted towards the complainant in a manner that was inappropriate and demeaning and included unwelcome sexual advances and unwanted physical contact; however, the report included findings that the circumstances surrounding the alleged incidents would not be considered "a workplace" under the city's policy.  

McCann denies those allegations throughout his statement of claim.

In its defence, the city indicated that it had no knowledge of how a local publication possessed copies of its report, denying that the copies were disclosed by a city employee or anyone responsible to the city.

The city added, "At all times, it acted in good faith and fulfilled its roles and responsibilities properly without any negligence, breach of duty or want of care on its part or on the part of anyone for whom it may be responsible in law."

The city also denied that its conduct was at any time hypocritical, high-handed, or unlawful, adding that "Neither the city, nor anyone for whom the city is legally responsible, exercised its powers, for ulterior or improper purposes, or with the intention to injure or harm the plaintiffs."

The city concluded its response by asking that McCann's statement of claim be dismissed.

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