Calgary councillor calls Nenshi's behaviour 'bitchy' at tense council meeting

The meeting may have purportedly been focused on land-use issues, but Calgary councillors returning from summer break had other things on their mind.

In-fighting breaks out among councillors on Monday

The first council meeting since summer break quickly grew contentious after Coun. Sean Chu used an expletive to describe Mayor Naheed Nenshi. (CBC)

Monday's city council meeting opened with a less than collegial atmosphere — all over whether a motion should be added to the agenda.

It started with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Coun. Sean Chu.

The discussion surrounding whether a motion should be added to the agenda quickly devolved after Nenshi asked the council clerk to "again" explain to Chu how the process worked.

"Madam clerk, would you mind explaining to Councillor Chu how this works, again?" Nenshi asked.

"I asked a question to the clerk. You don't have to be so bitchy," Chu responded.

The scene comes after last week's request by Coun. Jeromy Farkas, supported by Chu, to establish a "blue book standard" — an online account of tax-dollar spending by the city.

Farkas and Chu brought forward the motion again on Monday after last week's council deadline, meaning it would require a two-thirds vote of council to add it to Monday's meeting.

After others on council objected to Chu's choice of words, he apologized.

But soon after, another sharp exchange of words broke out between Nenshi and Coun. Jyoti Gondek.

"Now you're calling out me not calling out someone else. This is the most ridiculous process to start a meeting that I've ever seen," Gondek said. "Maybe if we could all just grow up and be councillors, that would be nice."

"And I would invite you to take the same advice," Nenshi said.

"Thank you for that," Gondek said. "Thank you for ending that with another lecture."

The motion to add the item to the agenda as urgent was defeated, though it is likely to return to a future council meeting.

With files from Scott Dippel


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