James Andre submitted his resignation as a trustee for the Battle River School Division following controversy over racist and homophobic jokes he re-tweeted on Twitter. The offensive retweets on his now defunct twitter account were in such bad taste that there were significant questions raised about whether he was competent to serve as an elected official in Alberta.
The east central rural region that Mr. Andre briefly represented as a trustee is an unquestionably conservative area of the province in terms of voting patterns both federally and provincially. But the reaction to his behaviour demonstrates that even in stereotypical “redneck Alberta,” it is unacceptable for public officials to promote these types of racist and homophobic “jokes.” And for those who think that this type of behaviour only exists in the Alberta’s deep rural regions, think again.
In the sprawling metropolis of Toronto, Rob Ford remains firmly planted in his job after six months of controversy surrounding the existence of a video that allegedly shows the mayor smoking crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic remarks. This month, Toronto’s police chief confirmed the existence of a video that was “consistent” with media reports, which led Mr. Ford to admit to smoking crack cocaine in a drunken stupor about a year ago.
Mr. Ford still enjoys the support of 44% of Torontonians, according to a recent poll by Forum Research.