For­mer town coun­cil­lor sen­tenced for breach­ing a court or­der

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A Drumheller woman who dis­obeyed a court or­der to keep her com­ments “civil and tem­per­ate” on so­cial me­dia has been fined nearly $4,000.

Cyn­thia Karen McK­in­non, a for­mer Drumheller town coun­cil­lor, ap­peared in pro­vin­cial court in Drumheller on Fri­day, May 13. She had pre­vi­ously been found guilty on De­cem­ber 18 of last year of breach­ing an or­der of the court.

McK­in­non was charged in 2011 with defam­a­tory li­bel for com­ments she had made on so­cial me­dia re­gard­ing a se­nior Town of Drumheller em­ployee and the town’s le­gal coun­cil.

The charges were stayed in Oc­to­ber of 2012, and McK­in­non en­tered into a peace bond. The terms of the or­der in­cluded that her post­ings on so­cial me­dia be “civil and tem­per­ate.” She was charged with breach­ing this or­der.

At her trial in De­cem­ber of 2015, when McK­in­non was given the op­por­tu­nity to present her case, she called no ev­i­dence and was found guilty. Her ap­pear­ance on May 13 was for sen­tenc­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tor R. Dhillon rec­om­mended a fine that equaled the amount of her peace bond of $3,000. He also rec­om­mended a pro­ba­tion or­der of 3-6, months. He told the court that a dis­charge would not be in the pub­lic’s in­ter­est. He also said her com­ments were bor­der­ing on con­tempt, she showed no re­morse and that the $3,000 was what she bar­gained for when she en­tered a peace bond.

McK­in­non ar­gued for a dis­charge stat­ing the only thing she was guilty of was be­ing rude on the In­ter­net, and equated the case to ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion.

In his de­ci­sion, Judge L. Robert­son em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of obey­ing a court or­der, and said that McK­in­non was not in court be­cause she was rude on the In­ter­net, but be­cause she breached a court or­der. He also took into ac­count two vic­tim im­pact state­ments.

McK­in­non was given a fine of $3,000 plus a $900 vic­tim sur­charge. No pe­riod of pro­ba­tion was or­dered. Judge Robert­son gave McK­in­non un­til May 14, 2016, to pay the fine.

A fail­ure to com­ply with con­di­tions charge was with­drawn.

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Karen McK­in­non was fined $3,000 plus a vic­tim sur­charge of $900 for dis­obey­ing an or­der of the court. The for­mer Drumheller coun­cil­lor was charged with defam­a­tory li­bel for com­ments made on so­cial me­dia in 2011.

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