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No sanction for Coun. Janz after derogatory 'pig' retweet

Edmonton city council voted unanimously on Wednesday not to sanction Coun. Michael Janz for a retweet he made that used a derogatory word for police officers.

“In the opinion of our integrity commissioner as we’ve heard, there was a clear violation of our code of conduct," Coun. Andrew Knack said Wednesday. "That can’t be ignored and should not be ignored, but an apology has been provided, a removal of the offending tweet has been deleted, and they have not recommended any further sanctions, so truly in my mind, that is the proper process.”

On May 29, Janz retweeted the following post:

“So this week a co-worker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7am in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes.

The person who hit me with her car got a $47 ticket for failing to signal.

Seems fair.”

He took the retweet down, but seven complaints were made to the city’s integrity commissioner as a result of the retweet.

On June 28, Janz posted an apology to his social media:

“On May 29, 2022, I retweeted a post that referred to an unidentified member of Calgary law enforcement using a derogatory term. I quickly deleted that post, but not before it was viewed by members of the public. I recognize that retweeting a post containing a derogatory term is contrary to the expectations of the Council Code of Conduct. I apologize to anyone who was offended by the retweeting of this post.”

Integrity Commissioner Jamie Pytel found in her report that the use of the word “pig” in the tweet was a violation of the Council Code of Conduct bylaw, but since Janz had apologized, she recommended that council not take further action.

She noted in her report that council was free to ignore her recommendation. 

“These complaints are a reminder of what the code expects from council on social media, and it’s a reminder that council can take a leadership role in terms of raising the bar, in terms of what is posted on social media,” Pytel said Wednesday.

“The words we use have more power than an average person’s words, and they can actually impact other people, and they do impact other people,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.

“I want to acknowledge councillor Janz for stepping up to acknowledge his mistake and doing so promptly. When he found out this was done, he immediately deleted that retweet, and I think that also demonstrates his commitment that he took that very seriously.” Top Stories

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