Two Calgary City Councilmembers Sanctioned Following Integrity Commissioner Investigation – Calgary |

Ward 13 Councilman Dan McLean and Ward 9 Councilman Gian-Carlo Carra were disciplined Tuesday following an investigation by the city’s integrity commissioner.

McLean and Carra will be required to attend ethics training with the ethics advisor within 30 days. Carra is also required to attend records management, ethics, and social media training with the ethics counselor.

Carra has been removed from any chair position on all boards, committees, and commissions of which he is a part. However, he can still actively participate in them.

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The sanctions come after the council returned from a lengthy closed session during Tuesday’s combined council meeting.

Details are scarce, but McLean said he is being penalized for a photo of him without a mask at an event inside a restaurant.

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McLean said the sanctions set a dangerous precedent because anyone can take a picture out of context. He maintains that he did not violate COVID-19 public health restrictions and that the photo was taken by someone who “repeatedly attacked” him on Twitter and Facebook.

“I was at a table with food and drinks in front of me, but you can take a picture of someone with no food or drinks in front of them,” McLean told reporters at a scrum on Tuesday afternoon.

“Anybody can go after you with a photo and there can be sanctions against you… That’s a dangerous precedent.”

Carra did not respond to journalists’ questions about his sanctions.

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Bulletins proposed to clarify behaviors in the use of social networks

On Tuesday night, Carra asked the integrity commissioner and ethics advisor if bulletins can be created to clarify the code of conduct regarding the use of social media.

The question arises after Carra was sanctioned for a social media post. It is unclear when the post was published and what the post said.

The proposal elicited various reactions and responses from the councillors. McLean disagreed with the idea, saying he doesn’t want the city government to be able to dictate the use of social media.

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“The ethics advisor and the integrity commissioner are good people, but I don’t think they should be in charge of social media policy and policing what councilmembers can do,” McLean said.

“We already have a code of conduct that we have to abide by and this will be another layer of surveillance and censorship that I would not agree with.”

The ethics adviser said it is common in other municipalities to issue interpretation bulletins to explain how the code of conduct is applied on social media. However, the bulletins are not binding and will only serve to guide the council.

“Once the bulletin is published, it cannot be changed, but we can issue more bulletins than has been done before or if there has been a change in circumstances,” the ethics adviser said during Tuesday’s meeting.

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