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City staffer apologizes after bike lane tweet to Kent Hehr

WATCH: Councillor Sean Chu had to apologize this week for an inappropriate social media message, and one day later one of Chu’s employees was also saying sorry. Gary Bobrovitz explains.

CALGARY – The city’s downtown bike lanes have been the topic of two Twitter “jokes” that caused a backlash for both a councillor and now his staffer.

Calgary City Hall Policy Advisor Dustin Franks apologized Monday for a tweet that said the city’s new bike lanes “are really just express lanes” for Kent Hehr, a former Liberal MLA who uses a wheelchair.

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Hehr, who is now running as the federal Liberal candidate in Calgary-Centre, accepted the apology immediately and told Global News he takes no offence as the two are close friends.

The slip-up comes two days after Ward 4 councillor Sean Chu compared the recent Irish vote to allow same-sex marriage to Calgary’s “own social revolution to screw the D/T businesses” with the new bike lanes.

On Sunday, he wrote a supportive tweet about Calgary’s gay pride parade and then an apology for the original tweet that drew fire.

“The important thing is that I unequivocally apologize for the tweet, which was a very bad comparison and I 100 per cent, absolutely support equal rights and human rights,” Chu told Global on Sunday. “I believe that people understand that we’re human and we make mistakes, and it came out and I apologize for it. I have learned from it and we’ll move on.”

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Chu has since promised his social media messages will be reviewed by City Hall staff before they’re sent out; a job that will fall to Franks as a policy advisor at city hall.

The new bike lanes are currently under construction and set to open June 30.

READ MORE: Businesses complain about new Calgary bike lanes

With files from Gary Bobrovitz and Lisa MacGregor

 

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