Ward 4 London Councillor Susan Stevenson. Photo from London.ca.Ward 4 London Councillor Susan Stevenson. Photo from London.ca.

London's top politicians admit they have seen submissions to Integrity Commissioner

London Mayor Josh Morgan and Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis told London News Today's Craig Needles that they have seen a number of submissions to the Integrity Commissioner when it comes to the online behaviour of Ward 4 Councillor Susan Stevenson.

A number of posts made over the weekend, with photos showing the faces of some of the city's unhoused community, were flagged by London residents, causing many to criticize and question her actions.

"The Integrity Commissioner ensures that we're held to our collective code of conduct that we've all agreed to uphold and it's up to the Integrity Commissioner to do those investigations and return a report to council," Morgan said. He explained he couldn't make further comment on that process, but did express that he felt that Stevenson's online behaviour is not reflective of what a councillor should be doing.

"The weight that you carry as an elected official and the words that you use is magnified into the community," Morgan said. "People have to be really careful and very responsible with what they do."

Lewis said that it's the commissioner's decision whether to begin an investigation or not, but he is concerned about what took place.

"First of all you don't post photos of anyone on social media without their consent," Lewis said of his initial reaction to Stevenson's posts. "That's just being a decent human being."

He added that councillors have to hold themselves to a high standard than the average citizen when it comes to posting on social media. "Doesn't mean we can't be opinionated, doesn't mean we can't question some things, but it does require us to think a little bit about the things we post. [And] posting pictures of people - vulnerable individuals, faces visible, making them identifiable is a real serious concern," he said.

On Sunday, Reverend Kevin George of St. Aidan's Anglican Church wrote a letter to the mayor and the rest of London's City Council about his concerns regarding Stevenson's posts.

"Ultimately, all this is about is we have a code of conduct that we said we're going to hold each other to and the community can hold us to about the way that we're going to behave, act, and engage with each other as elected officials," Morgan concluded. "None of us are above that code and that's what it's there for."

Listen to the entirety of Episode 207 of the Craig Needles Podcast here.

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