ALBERTA

Nenshi Refuses To Apologize To Councillors Over Drinking And Drug Allegations

01/27/2015 01:41 EST | Updated 01/27/2015 01:59 EST
Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Newly elected Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to the media the day after being elected to the office in Calgary, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. Calgary's new mayor says he hopes his election serves as an inspiration to children of all races and backgrounds. Nenshi, 38, is believed to be the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

Does Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi owe his council an apology?

He doesn't seem to think so.

On Monday, Nenshi refused to apologize for comments he made about councillor drinking and drug use last week — specifically that his office had received numerous complaints in the past about councillors getting "totally drunk" or "blotto" while attending work-related functions.

Nenshi defended his comments in council Monday, insisting he was not accusing anyone of anything, reports the Calgary Herald.

"If people want to turn that into I’ve said that tons of people are drunk in public, they can do that. What I’ve said was: I’ve heard lots of complaints about people’s behaviour."

Some councillors don't see it that way, though.

According to the Calgary Herald, seven of 14 councillors denounced Nenshi's comments Monday.

“He doesn’t feel that he’s ever wrong,” Coun. Jim Stevenson told the Herald. “I think he should have apologized and cleared this up, because I think it was poor judgment on his part and the other councillors’. I expect more from the mayor than that.”

According to Metro News, however, Nenshi did retract one statement made during last week's debate on alcohol — he was wrong to say there was "nothing" he could do about the complaints, and that the city auditor offers a whistleblower line to "move these things forward."

Coun. Joe Magliocca told Global News he may use that very line to force Nenshi to expand on his allegations.

“It’s still not over. I think I’m going to go to plan B,” the Ward 2 councillor told reporters. “There’s other options.”

Coun. Peter Demong told council he's disappointed that Nenshi would make the allegations public.

"This whole thing has become and made our city council pretty much a laughingstock of the country," he said, according to CBC News.

Magliocca told the Calgary Sun Nenshi's comments may have tainted all councillors in the eyes of Calgarians.

“I want an apology to all the citizens of Calgary about what happened,” said Magliocca.

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