SU Pres: Mazerolle trying to ‘manipulate’ and ‘intimidate’

By Jody White

IMG_8464_sSt. Thomas Students’ Union President Duncan Gallant criticized Craig Mazerolle for using intimidation tactics in his appeal for a SU re-vote.

“Trying to intimidate four students that are on the [appeal] board…is absolutely unacceptable, if not borderlining what is ethical,” Gallant said.

In his appeal letter to the Students’ Union, Mazerolle wrote, “If the remedy sought is not granted, I have been advised by my legal counsel to pursue an injunction from the Court of Queen’s Bench.”

Mark Henick, the president-elect, said Mazerolle is ruining his own reputation.

“I think it’s very bad for Craig … because the Craig that I’ve gotten to know over the year…is not this person. It’s really a shame that he’s doing this to his reputation, that he’s doing this to himself,” Henick said.

“It’s embarrassing, really, and I feel bad for him that he thinks he needs to do this to prove a point.”

At the student representative council meeting Thursday night, Gallant openly addressed Mazerolle’s statement, calling it a threat to the appellant board.

“There’s only one reason you say you’re going to take someone to court before the process is even launched, let alone finished or finalized. And that’s to try to manipulate the outcome and intimidate the individual doing the appeal,” he said later.

Gallant said he doesn’t question Mazerolle’s grounds for appeal. In fact, he said the appeal is warranted.

“I want the appeals process to go through,” Gallant said. “I think there are a number of items that should be reviewed that are in the complaint.”

But he said Mazerolle’s tactics are unjust.

“The wording [in the appeal letter] wasn’t ‘If the process isn’t taken seriously, if it’s not dealt with in a timely manner, if the appeals process isn’t being dealt with fairly’… it was, ‘If I do not get the resolution I am seeking,’” Gallant said.

Mazerolle denies he was threatening the appeal board with legal action.

“He took from that that I was trying to intimidate the appeals board and somehow trying to coerce them … trying to put them into a corner,” Mazerolle said.

“When [Gallant] said that, I was shocked. I was completely taken aback.”

Mazerolle said he was advised to include the statement in question, and it was not meant to intimidate anyone.

“The only reason why I put that [statement] in there was I want to be open to the appellant board. It was all that I knew. I wanted everything to be on the table,” he said. I just wanted to let them know that this is what I had been told by my law students.”

Mazerolle said he felt Gallant was out of line.

“He used … the public form of the SRC to essentially blast this part of the appeal,” he said. “I just thought how inappropriate it was to say [I made a threatening statement] when we had members of the appellant board right there beside him.”

Mazerolle is appealing on the grounds that his name did not appear in its entirety on some of the ballots. He also claims that the Students’ Union violated several election bylaws.

Mazerolle said a number of students approached him about problems they encountered at the polls that could disadvantage anyone running in the election.

Mark Henick, the president-elect, said he questions Mazerolle’s grounds for appeal.

“All of his sources that he includes are all from Holy Cross, several of them from the house committee on which he sits. That just begs the question if he got his friends to fill out a bunch of papers,” Henick said.

Gallant says he’s prepared to let the board handle the issue.

“It’s up to the appeals board at this point to figure out if the complaints raised are significant enough to force a new election, or are the complaints that they’re raising, do they disadvantage both candidates equally in a sense that the process, although was not perfect, was equally disadvantageous and therefore fair. I think that’s what they’ll have to figure out.”

The appellant board will hear the appeal this Friday.

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