Essex Councillor to be Docked 60 Days Pay for COVID-19 Tweets

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The Town of Essex is moving forward with council's direction to reprimand councillor Chris Vander Doelen.

Following a series of tweets in April calling COVID-19 the "Chinese flu", Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze ruled the comments violated the town's code of conduct.

At a meeting in May, council voted to enforce Swayze's recommendations that Vander Doelen remove the tweets, issue a formal apology and take part in diversity training.

With the July 19 deadline to complete the recommendations passed, Vander Doelen will be docked 60 days pay.

According to town staff, the councillor was contacted for a status update, but he did not respond, prompting administration to move forward with the integrity commissioner's recommended punishment.

AM800 News has reached out to Vander Doelen as well, but has not heard back.