January 16, 2019 10:30 am
Updated: January 16, 2019 11:27 am

Calgary council votes to freeze pay for 2019; investigation into councillor’s comments to continue

Calgary city council voted to freeze its pay for 2019 on Tuesday.

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Calgary city council voted on Tuesday to freeze its pay for 2019, but also voted to continue an integrity investigation from 2018 into a councillor’s comments on the freeze.

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Back in December, council voted against a pay freeze based on administration’s advice, but Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas said that the council had rejected the pay freeze without an explanation.

READ MORE: Calgary councillor calls for salary freeze as report forecasts ‘bleak fiscal future for Alberta’

At that time, Farkas was asked to retract his comments and apologize, and when he didn’t, he was ejected from council chambers.

The integrity commissioner was asked to investigate whether Farkas broke the council’s code of conduct, and last night councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing that investigation.

Farkas said he is disappointed with the council’s decision.

“I think the better way to go is just to acknowledge what happened in December as a misunderstanding,” Farkas said. “I think many, if not all of us, regret what happened and right now the focus is on moving forward as positively as we can, so obviously I am disappointed this is going to continue to drag out.”

READ MORE: Calgary CFO admits ‘confusion’ over council pay increase; Farkas feels he’s ‘done nothing wrong’

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it’s important the commissioner be allowed to investigate the incident.

“I think it’s important for the integrity commissioner to rule on that,” he said.

With files from Global News’ Nathan Taylor

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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