Clement will take leave from council, job later than planned

Cornwall Coun. Bernadette Clement announces Aug. 10, 2015 that this would be her last council meeting as she takes an unpaid leave of absence at the end of the month to run in the federal election. Clement said her plans to take leave when the writ dropped changed after the Conservatives announced an unusually long 11 week campaign. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A little later than she had first planned, Coun. Bernadette Clement announced her intentions Monday night to take leave from council at the end of the month.

Clement said she would be stepping away from The Legal Clinic on Aug. 31 and also her role on council, meaning she will miss three meetings – two in September and one in October.

It’s an unpaid leave of absence.

“This is a very important job at city council and I wish you well in the next two months and I will miss you,” Clement said.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do without you,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy joked.

The plan is a bit different than first proposed by Clement when she won the SDSG Liberal nomination June 23 where she announced she would resign when the writ was dropped.

“When I was planning to run months ago I was planning on the traditional length of campaign which is around five to seven weeks, so I planned with my employer for a seven week period to be away,” Clement told Cornwall Newswatch.

When the Conservatives announced an 11 week campaign it really changed her plans.

“My employer (The Legal Clinic) said…it’s hard to spare you for 11, we figured on seven…they are really supportive employer…I have permission to run but the 11 weeks was too much of a strain.”

“I’m going to work until August 31st and I figured I would do the same with council. For me, I’m not going to distracted by tactics and I’m going to stick to the plan that I had planned months ago,” the councillor said.

Clement is carrying the Liberal banner in SDSG. She’ll be up against Conservative Guy Lauzon and NDP member Patrick Burger for the Oct. 19 vote.

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