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Richmond Hill Regional Councillor breached Region's Code of Conduct for Twitter blocking resident

UPDATE


York Region Council has “approved and received” the report of the Integrity Commissioner that states that Councillor Carmine Perrelli breached the Council Code of Conduct.

 

York Region Council is holding a special council meeting at 9am on Thursday April 15th to receive the first ever York Region Integrity Commissioner complaint regarding a Regional Council Member


York Region Integrity Commissioner, Principles Integrity, found that Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Carmine Perrelli contravened the Region's Code of Conduct by blocking a Richmond Hill resident from his Twitter account.

Some excerpts below:

(10) The complainant alleged that Regional Councillor Perrelli inappropriately blocked him from a social media account (on Twitter) because he was critical of the Regional Councillor’s position opposing the Province’s COVID-19 lock-down measures proposed in York Region.


(28) The complainant re-tweeted a CP-24 tweet with the following comment:

As the number of COVID 19 deaths and infections increases exponentially, Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Carmine Perrelli is trying to stop public health measures in York Region. #yorkregion #RichmondHill #COVID19Ontario #COVIDIOT


(29) The complainant alleged that within 24 hours of him posting the retweet Councillor Perrelli blocked the complainant on Councillor Perrelli’s Twitter.


Principles Integrity:

(89) "We find that arbitrary blocking on an open Twitter account contravenes the Code of Conduct principle that “Members shall serve the public in a conscientious and diligent manner that promotes public confidence and will bear public scrutiny”."


(87) "We find that effect of the Councillor blocking the complainant was to silence criticism of the Councillor on his Twitter account. To do that outside of a framework within which offensive postings can be adjudged, and proportional remedies applied as required, necessarily makes the decision-making around blocking to be arbitrary."

(90) "Though we find the action taken by the Councillor to breach the Code of Conduct, we believe it would be unfair to effect punishment, given the absence of guidance available in this relatively new area. Therefore, we are not recommending the imposition of any sanction."


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