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Citizen was political watchdog

He was concerned about his community, challenged community leaders to do the right thing with taxpayers? money, and he loved to write letters to newspapers explaining his views. Ron Billard, 70, died last Tuesday at St. Joseph?s Health Centre.
He was concerned about his community, challenged community leaders to do the right thing with taxpayers? money, and he loved to write letters to newspapers explaining his views.

Ron Billard, 70, died last Tuesday at St. Joseph?s Health Centre.

Billard is best known as the man who sued former Regional Chair Frank Mazzuca for calling him a ?stupid bastard.?

Billard criticized Mazzuca for using taxpayers funds to take a limiousine to Toronto in a letter to the editor he wrote in October 1998. The politician made his comments to a Sudbury Star reporter and the account was published in the newspaper.

Billard was given a $7,500 out of court settlement from the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 2001.

Billard?s original lawsuit had asked for $100,000 in libel and slander damages, and $50,000 in punitive damages and other costs.

Billard was a retired lab technologist with Inco Ltd. He volunteered with the Canadian National Institute for the
Blind, was involved in bowling and loved helping neighbours.

His obituary called him a ?self described political watchdog...a modern-day Diogenes holding a lamp seeking truth from our political leaders.?

Billard was born in Newfoundland and married Genevieve in 1959 in Nova Scotia. He came to Sudbury in 1954 and had 38 years of service with Inco when he retired in 1991.

A funeral service was held Friday in the R.J. Barnard Chapel at Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home.