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Regina city manager says court action was "humiliating and intimidating"

Regina City Manager Niki Anderson speaks to reporters after the court action against her by two Councillors is tossed from King’s Bench.
Niki Anderson is seen speaking to reporters Dec. 15 as she reacts to the end of the lawsuit that had been launched against her by two members of council.

REGINA - Regina City Manager Niki Anderson is clearly still stinging, even though the court action against her was thrown out this week.

"I'll just start out by saying, wow, what a first month it's been," Anderson said to reporters Thursday. "Moved to a new city, started a new job, got sued by one of my employers. Ended up with one of my dogs going half blind, then got vindicated by the courts and now we're on the budget."

On Wednesday, Justice John Morrall tossed out a King's Bench mandamus application that would have ordered Anderson to include homeless funding in the 2023 budget. Morrall's 38-page ruling was an almost total rebuff of the submissions filed by Councillor Dan LeBlanc as lawyer and Councillor Andrew Stevens as a co-applicant, and of the arguments by LeBlanc in court.

Despite that vindication, Anderson clearly still had hard feelings about what she had gone through in her first month on the job in Regina.

"As a new employee of the city of Regina, I found the actions of Councillor LeBlanc and Councillor Stevens to be humiliating and intimidating. As the judge said in the court findings, polite inquiry would have been of greater assistance and likely more effective than suing the city manager for breach of duty on day 21 of her employment with the city."

Anderson also made it known took offence to being continually referred to as the "unelected city manager." She pointed out she had been unanimously hired by council.

She said she took "great affront with the idea that I was unilaterally going against all of council and it was almost like I was in a room alone making decisions. That was not the case."

"Counsellor LeBlanc said, elected officials should be running the show. And I want to be clear with everyone that they are running the show. I think that from my perspective what the issue was was Councillor LeBlanc felt that his perspective was the perspective of all councillors, and indeed it was not."

Anderson added that she found the support she received from other members of council "to be incredibly kind, supportive, and reassuring," referring to the motion of confidence in her that had been passed by council.

She said she "deeply deeply appreciated how they reached out to me with the motion of confidence, and I fully acknowledge, and I think I want all residents to know that councillors can vote, have confidence in what I do, and want more funds going to homelessness and perhaps a different approach. This idea that they are mutually exclusive, not true."

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