Recently an inappropriate gesture from Councillor Sutherland towards Councillor Farrell (or was it Councillor Chabot?) made headlines. This may or may not have been a gendered incident, but if we stop there, we’re missing the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is the general disrespect and lack of good judgement demonstrated by members of City Council to one another and the public, whether related to offensive gestures or poorly-timed tweets.
It doesn’t matter to whom the motion was directed or the context in which it was done. It was wrong - plain and simple. And it is only the latest example of members on City Council struggling with general civility. It saddens me that it lowers the standard to which we should hold our elected officials. No one is served by this degradation of professionalism. In fact, I think Calgarians pay for it.
It’s well known that this is far from an isolated incident or a moment of misunderstanding. City Council needs new energy from Councillors with a track record of collaboration and consensus-building. This isn’t the time for adversarial and polarizing politics. This type of poor judgement and lack of common decency has already appeared in the run-up to October’s election. Indeed, how a person behaves in their campaign is usually a pretty accurate demonstration of how he or she will behave as a Councillor.
It’s time to see what’s possible when we elect an effective and balanced Councillor. There is more that unites us as Calgarians than divides us and we need a Councillor who builds consensus rather than creates division. I plan to run my campaign as someone who unites Ward 11 and unites Calgarians, and it’s how I plan to operate if elected.