Calgary city councillor Evan Woolley has been asked to write an apology letter an integrity commissioner report into a comment he’d made on Twitter to a fellow councillor.
The integrity commissioner’s report said a comment made Nov. 5, 2020 by Coun. Woolley was “not respectful contrary to s.19 of the Code; it breached the Respectful Workplace Policy by being disrespectful contrary to s.20 of the Code; and it undermined, or had the potential to undermine public confidence in City governance in the eyes of a reasonable Calgarian, contrary to s.11 of the Code.”
The incident stems from an online spat between Woolley and fellow Coun. Sean Chu. It was the follow through of comments Chu had made about addiction being a “choice.”
The November tweet was as follows: “Chu is one of the most ignorant morons on Council. Every developer that donates to him is a target that I will push.”
That was followed up by a tweet from Coun. Chu in response.
“I believe Calgarians deserve better from their elected officials. If Cllr. Woolley chooses to apologize, I will consider the matter closed,” the tweet read.
The two continued the exchange until it ended up in the hands of the city’s integrity commissioner.
According to the commissioner’s report, there were four separate complaints regarding the contents of Woolley’s tweet.
They reference the name calling and the targeting of developers.
Woolley defended the “ignorant moron” remarks in his submission to the integrity commissioner (Page 4).
The commissioner prescribed a public and written apology on the matter.
Woolley apologizes in council meeting
The matter came to Monday’s combined meeting of council. After a closed-door session, councillors emerged to report on the in-camera session.
At that point, Coun. Woolley apologized publicly.
“I’d like to unequivocally apologize to Sean Chu, city council and Calgarians for the language I used to refer to Mr Chu,” Woolley said.
“This was not in line with the highest standards of the Office of city council, which I greatly respect.”
Woolley went on to underscore the impact overdose has on the community.
“We must not stand silent when those among us use their public office to further dehumanize and stigmatize people suffering from addictions and undermine efforts to help those people,” he said.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi asked if Coun. Woolley could have the written apology come forward Monday by the end of council so it could be included in the corporate record.
Coun. Druh Farrell rose in council to thank Coun. Woolley for the apology. She then reminded councillors that others on council had been asked for apologies that hadn’t been made.
The reference is to an awaited apology from Coun. Jeromy Farkas on comments made in council more than two years ago. Also, council is still waiting for an apology from Coun. Joe Magliocca on his expense situation.
Magliocca has repaid all outstanding expenses, and then some.