Billboard prank mocks B.C. mayor who nodded off at meeting
A Vancouver Island mayor who was caught on camera snoozing at a recent council meeting found himself the butt of a very public practical joke this week.
Someone attached a pillow and blanket to a billboard of Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan, who nodded off during a presentation by a city engineer on July 11.
Unfortunately, the full meeting, which started at 3 p.m., was streamed live on the city’s official YouTube page.
Many in town took the billboard prank as a good-natured ribbing, but local politicians were still quick to defend Ruttan’s work ethic.
“He’s the hardest working mayor I’ve ever seen. I’ve been at early morning meetings and late-night meetings on the same day and he’s at all of them,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim.
Fraser also said that while he’s never fallen asleep at a meeting, he’s “come pretty close.”
Port Alberni councillor Jack McLeman told CTV News the air conditioning at city hall is on the fritz, and that meetings can get pretty stuffy.
“He probably won’t be doing it again,” McLeman added. “We’ll get him some more coffee.”
The billboard prank, which the city said is considered vandalism, was removed Thursday morning.
Ruttan isn’t the first politician to be caught dozing on the job. In 2012, Calgary MP Rob Anders was filmed taking a catnap during Question Period, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden famously fell asleep during a budget speech the year before.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Jessica Lepp