Calgary mayor asks minister to call byelection as ‘last resource’ to remove Sean Chu from council

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek says she has requested that Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ric McIver, call a byelection in an attempt to remove embattled Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu from city council.

“I called on the minister to lead, particularly in the case of Councillor Chu, because he is literally our last resource,” Gondek told reporters after her private meeting with McIver.

McIver said in October that following revelations regarding Coun. Sean Chu, he asked non-partisan department officials to review the Municipal Government Act to verify what legal recourse, if any, exists.

An Edmonton law firm that was hired to look into the matter said the minister does not have the authority to remove a councillor, particularly for events that took place before they were elected.

But Gondek says McIver has the ability to call a byelection within the Local Authorities Election Act, which would allow citizens of Ward 4 a second vote on their councillor for this term.

“I argued that there was material information that was left out of the advanced polls that would significantly change the results,” said Gondek.

However, she says the minister maintains that he should not intervene in matters of who Calgarians voted for.

Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu has previously said he was duly-elected. (Rebecca Kelly/CBC)

“He’s got a perspective that’s based on legal opinion and he also wants to let democracy run its course,” she said.

Chu has faced calls for his resignation after CBC News broke the story that he was found guilty of discreditable conduct when he was a police officer for having inappropriate physical contact with a minor. 

CBC News also reported that Chu was involved in a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm, which was confirmed through court records.

Chu maintains the matters were investigated and resolved, and that recent media coverage was politically motivated. 

“I was duly-elected by the people of Ward 4, and I intend to stay at this position to serve the people of Ward 4,” said Chu.

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