May 5, 2014 6:39 pm

Quebec City mayor backtracks on social media policy

QUEBEC CITY – “I really think it’s censorship.”

Paul Shoiry is the leader of the opposition in Quebec City and he was shocked when he discovered the city’s new 2.0 policy, which limited access to social media and also applied to elected officials.

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“The policy adopted by Mayor Régis Labeaume tells us we shouldn’t say anything on Twitter or Facebook that goes against the policy of the city of Quebec, so that means if my political opinions are contrary to the mayor’s, I cannot express them on Facebook,” said Shoiry.

A city spokesperson told Global News that the policy was meant to tidy up city communications and make sure the message going out to residents is cohesive.

City workers need to get approval from their boss to start a Twitter account and should generally refrain from sparking political debates online.

“Employees are one thing, they have to be loyal to their employer, but city councillors are elected by the population and have the responsibility and obligation to communicate with people,” Shoiry insisted.

By the end of the day, the Quebec City mayor was forced to backtrack.

Labeaume summoned reporters late Monday afternoon to say he’s making the “logical” decision to exclude elected officials from his policy.

“I think there was a mistake, so we’re going to change it,” said Labeaume.

“Now the rule will just apply to the employees.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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