A B.C. mayor has resigned from his position, citing "lateral violence" and "bullying behaviour."
In a letter to Castlegar's city council, Bruno Tassone announced his resignation, writing that he made the decision with a "heavy heart."
The mayor of the city in B.C.'s West Kootenay region faced criticism after local media reported he'd travelled to a family cabin in the South Okanagan over the holidays, despite officials discouraging non-essential travel in the province.
In a letter written to council and obtained by CTV News Vancouver, Tassone addressed issues with the media, though it was not clear from the letter whether he was speaking about his entire time in the city's top job, or specifically surrounding the trip.
"As time has gone on, my position as mayor has unfortunately challenged my physical heath, as well as the toll the bullying and hypocrisy within the media has taken on my spirit. When it effects my family, it is not acceptable," he wrote in the letter.
He said ran for mayor knowing the job would be tough, but he thought it "wouldn't be as insurmountable as it has been" to bring about the changes he campaigned on.
He said the work needed to "create systemic and lasting change" is greater than he's able to give.
Tassone thanked supporters, then directed comments at unnamed detractors.
"It goes without saying that I have been a target of harmful and bullying behaviour along with outright disrespect within the systems I have operated in upon my arrival as Councilman over 6 years ago," he wrote.
"To me, with my own moral compass guiding me, I find it extremely disheartening that certain council members who wish to stand for inclusion, advocation and awareness around mental health have come to be the very people instigating and inflicting pain onto others."
Tassone said this is partly behind his resignation.
"Lateral violence is something that should not be taken lightly as it impedes the valuable work that is required to successfully support a thriving economy and community," he said.
In a statement, the city confirmed his resignation, and said council and staff were "processing" the news.
Council will appoint a chief election officer, and a byelection will have to be held within 80 days of the appointment.
Castlegar's chief administrative officer, Chris Barlow, said the city thanks Tassone for his leadership and dedication as a mayor, councillor and city employee.