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Edmonton Councillor Mike Nickel faces sanction hearing over social media post

Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel announced Wednesday morning he is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-South. June 6, 2018.
Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel announced Wednesday morning he is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-South. June 6, 2018. Morris Gamblin, Global News

Edmonton City Councillor Mike Nickel could be reprimanded for posting a cartoon on Facebook about fellow councillor Andrew Knack.

A public complaint was made to Edmonton’s integrity commissioner, which called the photo unprofessional and called out Nickel for removing responses.

Edmonton’s integrity commissioner determines councillor Mike Nickel should be reprimanded for posting this cartoon on Facebook of fellow councillor Andrew Knack.
Edmonton’s integrity commissioner determines councillor Mike Nickel should be reprimanded for posting this cartoon on Facebook of fellow councillor Andrew Knack. Facebook, Credit

In a investigation report, integrity commissioner Jamie Pytel determined Nickel’s post was disrespectful, a personal attack and in violation of the council code of conduct.

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Read more: Edmonton council dustup could lead to a code of conduct investigation

Recommendations were included in the report that Mayor Don Iveson reprimand Nickel and a social media policy be considered.

Nickel said the recommendations are absurd.

“I don’t even think we need an integrity commissioner,” he said. “The way it used to work was that the minister of Municipal Affairs was the person who decided what was in-bounds and out-of-bounds — basically depoliticizing city council from attacking one of its own.”

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Nickel will face a sanction hearing on Sept. 2.

The councillor at the centre of the controversy said he will not apologize for posting the cartoon and he would do it again.

“This very plainly to me is a political attack by individuals of a certain persuasion and in no way does it reflect the facts of the matter,” he said.

Knack said he would not comment on the report until he had the opportunity to review it in its entirety.

The issue of blocking and removing posts did not violate the code of conduct, according to the commissioner’s findings.

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Edmonton council dustup could lead to a code of conduct investigation – Apr 20, 2020