Ward 10 Councillor Andre Chabot is calling on his colleagues to get off their electronic devices while in council chambers and pay attention to the work at hand.
Chabot, who is running for mayor in the municipal election this fall, is singling out Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who he will be running against.
“Most of the time when people are watching the council meetings, the mayor’s looking down, or he’s typing, or he’s doing something, but he’s not looking up. It doesn’t look like he’s paying attention to the presenter,” Chabot said on Thursday.
He is particularly concerned about meetings where members of the public are making submissions to council.
Chabot said he has fielded complaints from Calgarians who wonder how many councillors are actually paying attention to their presentations.
“Here they are pouring their hearts out trying to make a point and there’s several members of council that don’t look like they’re paying attention. Maybe they are, but it’s not whether or not they are – it’s the perception that they aren’t.”
Chabot has put forward a notice of motion for Monday’s council meeting, but denies it’s election campaign grandstanding on his part.
“This is something that’s annoyed not just me but other members of council for a long time. If nothing else comes out of this, maybe the mayor will recognize that maybe he should be paying more attention to the meetings,” Chabot said. “If that’s the only thing that comes out of this for the next six months, then I’ve achieved something.”
Chabot is new to social media with less than 500 followers compared to Nenshi’s 362,000.