As council resumed Monday, Coun. Moe Gill again refused to substantiate claims he made about Mayor Henry Braun more than three weeks prior.
Gill announced he was running for mayor in early August in a press release that suggested Braun lacked integrity and that his friends and family had received favourable treatment by the city. Braun vigorously denied the accusations, calling them an “absolute fabrication.” He said Gill has never previously raised the issues.
In the weeks following the release, Gill said nothing to back up his claims and refused repeated requests for an interview from The News.
Gill engaged in a brief conversation with a News reporter as he walked to Monday’s council meeting, but again refused to back up his claims. The conversation ended when Gill walked into council chambers.
Asked why the original statement was made before corroborating evidence was available, Gill said: “It doesn’t matter.”
Gill said he will come forward with details later. Asked Monday what they are, he said, “We have them and when they come out, you’ll find out.”
Asked why details were not forthcoming at the time of his initial statement, Gill said: “The partial response was made and we came out with a statement when we did.”
The “partial response” likely refers to a post on Gill’s Facebook page made Aug. 19 that begins: “Here is what Moe knows.”
The statement is a list of the attributes Abbotsford “deserves” in a mayor, but provides no details on Gill’s allegations about Braun.
Gill’s Aug. 19 statement says “several people have expressed their concerns to me” about Braun, but again doesn’t provide details. It also explicitly avoids asserting the truth of those concerns, instead saying, “Whether this is true or not our City cannot afford to have this perception as it will evitably (sic) result in our City losing opportunities.”
Gill also wouldn’t say if he has raised the issues directly with Braun. And he also wouldn’t answer whether he personally wrote the statement.
“You’ll have to find out that in the future,” he said.
Last week, Gill’s Facebook page had included a picture of him speaking on camera and a brief ode to the media: “It is important to stay connected through media of all varieties in this busy city of ours. Abbotsford is a first class city, with first class communications. Thank you to all the media outlets in our area for all you do.”
On Monday, though, Gill said he wasn’t obliged to speak about the matters raised in his release, despite his mayoral campaign.
“I haven’t replied to anything yet because we are drafting a response and the response will come out,” Gill said.