Calgary city 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, seems to be taking a jab at the current mayor Naheed Nenshi, whose use of Twitter is prolific.
“Most of the time when people are watching the council meetings, the mayor is looking down, or he’s typing, or he’s doing something,” Chabot said. “He’s not looking up. So, it doesn’t look like he’s paying attention to the presenter.”
Nenshi has been known to send out lost dog tweets while tweeting about council issues.
Chabot has said that people have complained to him about seeing councillors on their devices while members of the public are making a presentation.
“This is something that’s annoyed not just me, but other members of council for a long time,” Chabot said. “If nothing else comes out of this, maybe the mayor will recognise that maybe he should be paying more attention to the meetings.
“If that’s the only thing that comes out of this for the next six months, then I’ve achieved something.”
The ward ten councillor is new to the game of social media with less than 500 followers to Nenshi’s 362,000.
He has a notice of motion on the issue going to Monday’s council meeting.
Chabot believes members of the public are not getting a fair shake in their presentations and wonders how much his colleagues are actually paying attention.
“Here we are, pouring our hearts out, trying to make our point, and there’s several members of council that don’t look like they’re paying attention,” Chabot says.
“Maybe they are, but it’s not whether or not they are, it’s the perception that they aren’t.”