Mayor of small community near Sudbury, Ont., quits citing pandemic stress, vaccine mandate

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Mayor of small community near Sudbury, Ont., quits citing pandemic stress, vaccine mandate

Sudbury –

Citing his opposition to vaccine mandates for staff, and stress brought on by the pandemic, the mayor of the Ontario Township of Nairn and Hyman has resigned.

Laurier Falldien has been mayor of the northern Ontario community of around 350 people for 11 years. He said in his resignation letter that he was stepping down effective Nov. 17.

“Firstly is personal stress and health,” Falldien wrote. “In the last 18 months, my business was forced to close for seven months due to COVID-19, causing a huge financial burden.”

Coping with that stress, as well as being mayor, has become “overwhelming,” he said.

“I feel I have to focus on recouping these losses and refocus on my business and personal life.”

Another major factor, Falldien wrote, is the fact councillors are headed toward imposing vaccine mandates on staff.

“I do not and will never support this,” he wrote.

“This is an infringement on the Charter of Human Rights (sic) and the Canadian constitution and is being challenged in courtrooms across the nation.”

Falldien added he was proud of his accomplishments as mayor and said he represented the community with “pride and dignity.”

“I wish nothing but happiness, good health and success for everyone in Nairn and Hyman.”

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In a post, the township said it was sharing the letter “with regret” and that Falldien’s seat will be declared vacant at the next council meeting Dec. 13.

“Staff will be presenting a report to council to outline the options and requesting a decision from council on their preferred method for filling the vacancy,” the post said.

The next municipal election in Ontario is Oct. 24, 2022.

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