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Woolley apologizes for calling Chu ‘a moron’ – finally

It took a ruling from the Integrity Commissioner for Wooley to apologize for tweet that also targeted developers.

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Councillor Evan Woolley has apologized to colleague Sean Chu for calling him “a moron” – but it took a rebuke from the city’s integrity commissioner for him to do it.

It ended a war of words between the two that has been going on since last November.

In defense of his comments, Woolley even sent Integrity Commissioner Meryl Whittaker the Merriam- Webster Dictionary definition of “moron.”

The spat blew up last November 5, at 1:41 a.m. when Woolley tweeted: “Chu is one of the most ignorant morons on Council. Every developer that donates to him is a target that I will push.”

The next afternoon Chu replied with a tweet of his own: “I believe Calgarians deserve better from their elected officials. If Cllr. Woolley chooses to apologize, I will consider the matter closed.”

But there was no apology forthcoming and Chu sent a letter to the ethics commissioner.

Sean Chu Courtesy CBC

“In regards to the Tweet sent out by my colleague last night, I will be sending the following comment to the Ethics Commissioner, as this is against the Respectful Workplace policy that governs all Councillors and their staff,” he wrote.

“If Cllr Woolley has an issue with my stance on the question of defunding the police, then he could have reached out to me to have a discussion. We can disagree on an issue but mean spirited comments do nothing to build bridges or increase the level of discourse needed in such emotionally charged debates. I believe Calgarians deserve better from their elected officials.”

The war of words continued and Woolley issued his own letter.

“I have been a City Councillor for 2 terms and I am angry about some of the behaviour I’ve witnessed over that time. I think it is time to call it out. During a discussion about supervised consumption sites in Calgary, Councillor Chu said that addiction is a “choice”.

“This is deeply insulting to the thousands of Calgarians who have lost a loved one during the opioid crisis. My brother died of an overdose and I wish I had called the Councillor more forcefully at that time.

“Councillor Chu also called Ireland’s decision to allow same-sex marriage a “social
revolution” and compared it to cycle tracks. The lack of respect to members of Calgary’s LGBTQ community was both appalling and unforgivable.”

Whittaker said her office received four complaints about Woolley’s initial tweet.

“I do not believe this tweet goes against the respectful workplace policy as I believe my comments to be true and a part of defending the constituents that I represent. On many occasions over the years I believe Councillor Chu has made many comments of an ignorant and moronic nature which are clearly defined in the Merriam- Webster Dictionary,” Woolley wrote to Whittaker.

“I have worked hard to do the best for my city and for my constituents. I have not always succeeded. But I can’t sit idly by and ignore the actions and words that both hurt and insult large numbers of Calgarians. In a world that’s more divided than ever, I truly believe we must call out distortion, stupidity, misinformation, ignorance, and hate.”

In response to his other comment on developers, Woolley replied: “People who donate to councillors voicing (sic) their support for the positions and actions of that member of council. My statement is one that is common during elections and that is no different than my previous response to you.”

In her ruling, Whittaker included the definition of “Moron” as defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as:

• a foolish or stupid person; dated, now offensive, see usage paragraph below: a person affected with mild intellectual disability.

• Usage of Moron: The terms idiot, imbecile, moron, and their derivatives were formerly used as technical descriptors in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. These uses were broadly rejected by the close of the 20th century and are now considered offensive.

“Councillor Woolley certainly has the right to disagree with Councillor Chu’s views on any issue
and he has the right to express those views. But his right of expression is limited by the Code.
Under s. 19, his expression must be respectful. Name calling is not respectful,” she wrote.

“Further, he relies on the definition of moron to justify his statement, but the dictionary definition itself states that it is no longer a technical descriptor and it is offensive.

“By resorting to name-calling, Councillor Woolley has lowered the level of discourse to an inappropriate and disrespectful level.”

Whittaker also slams Woolley for the “developers” part of his tweet.

“It is reasonable to interpret the second sentence of the tweet as an intention to target private citizens with a similar level of disrespect. While there is no evidence that he has actually disrespected them, the tweet displays an intention that has the potential to undermine public confidence in City governance,” she wrote.

“Councillor Woolley has singled out an identifiable group of citizens on the basis of their support of another Councillor, using aggressive language.

“I recommend that Councillor Woolley be requested to issue a letter of apology to Councillor Chu and to the public and that the letter be published.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steven Ruthven

    May 10, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Will the real Slim Shady please stand up!, Woo . Please stand up.

    OR SHOULD THAT BE PLEASE GROW UP ?!

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Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

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The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

Risdon is a reporter at the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.

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Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Nearly $400 million in commemorative holiday events planned for fed employees only

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

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It’ll cost hundreds of millions of dollars with federally regulated employees getting ready to party like it’s 2021, all on the public teat.

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the holiday will cost $388.9 million, by official estimate.

“The department will collaborate with national organizations for large-scale commemorative events on September 30,” staff wrote in a briefing note. It is the first federal observance of its kind.

The Senate on June 3 passed Bill C-5 An Act To Amend The Bills Of Exchange Act that designates September 30 as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The paid holiday applies only to federal employees including the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces, and federally-regulated private sector workers at job sites like airports, banks, grain mills, marine shippers, radio stations and railways.

“This new annual statutory holiday on September 30 will ensure public commemoration of the tragic history and legacy of Residential Schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process,” said the briefing note National Day For Truth And Reconciliation. Costs of planned events were estimated at $2.7 million.

Parliament passed the holiday bill without a dissenting vote though senators in final debate questioned its usefulness. “What could long-term, dedicated and stable funding mean for food security, for closing the infrastructure gap which is huge, for finally ending boiled water advisories, for dealing with acute housing shortfalls in Indigenous communities?” asked Senator Dennis Patterson (Nunavut).

“It is hard for me to hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to provide federal employees a paid day off when I think about how an ongoing commitment of what we have heard today would be $388.9 million per annum for this holiday,” said Patterson.

“It would be an insult to my family members, to my friends and to the memories of those survivors I have lost along the way if this day were to become yet another paid day at the cottage for federal workers,” said Patterson. “It needs to truly be a day of remembrance and learning.”

The Treasury Board said direct costs were $165.9 million in the federal public service. “Most of that is in lost productivity,” Stephen Diotte, executive director of human resources, told the Senate June 3.

“The balance of it is payments required for employees in 24/7 work environments like corrections or Canada Border Services or ships’ crews and officers in the Department of National Defence and Department of Fisheries,” said Diotte.

The $165.9 million figure did not include holiday pay or overtime for Crown corporation employees. “I don’t have those figures,” said Diotte.

The labour department said airlines, marine shippers and other federally-regulated private sector companies would pay another $223 million annually.

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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